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Notes from a Nagger

September 10, 2010

This week has been tough.

Started with a long weekend of trial prep.  Then was the first day of trial, which happened to coincide with the first day of high school and the first day of 7th grade.  I had to be up and out of the house before the school-children’s alarms even went off.

That’s fun.

Last year, they started 6th and 8th grades, and they had prohibited me from walking with them to school.  They both already had their plans with various friends, and really wanted nothing to do with me.  But I was around when they were getting up & dressed, and I was there when their “first day” photos were taken.  And then I snuck off to the school where I volunteered to help kindergartners and new families find their way around the building.

And I remember that work kicked up a fuss at me that afternoon.  I got out of work later than usual – despite hopes that I’d get out early to get the de-brief — and then the train was having issues.  I think I literally cried on that train platform as it came apparent that I wouldn’t be home before 8.  On the first day of school!

So at least that broke me in for this year.

This year, they’re older.  They want me there less.

But for Lemon, it’s a big year.  She started high school.  She had her first field hockey game.

The game was away, but if I had either (a) a more flexible schedule, or (b) no job – I would have gone.  I would have driven the 30 minutes to see her play her first game in a sport that’s brand new to her.  That’s making her excited about a sport in a way she has never been before.

And I don’t have (a) or (b).  I have (c) a very intense job, that is (d) going through the most intense period, due to my first ever federal court trial.  (“my” trial is a loose use of the possessive.  because i am a junior member of the team, and will not be speaking in court at all.)

I did my best to check in by phone and/or text.  I got relative updates from both kids.  Mouse had a great day and is excited about her 7th grade year.  Lemon was a little more tight-lipped, as she tends to be when she is overwhelmed.  She never admits frustration or unhappiness.  Everything is always “fine” and if I push, she gets exasperated with me.

Fortunately, I was able to make it home for dinner, albeit a late dinner, on the first day of school.

The second day of school was no better.  Although we did – again – manage a late dinner.

The third day of school was no-school – a huge thank you to my Jewish friends for living in my town in great enough numbers that we are granted a “day of low attendance” on Rosh Hashanah.  And thank you also to the court, for giving the day off as well.  Because yesterday, we all were able to breathe.  I was able to get home at a very reasonable hour ….

… just to have a meeting of producers and directors for the play that is starting in 10 days.  That I am producing.

Fantastic.

And so are the kids getting ignored?  No.  Are they starving to death because Mom is working too much?  No.

Why?  Because WD is taking care of making sure they’re snacked up, driven where they need to go, and that things are generally running.

Which would be great, if it didn’t come with loads of resentment and frustration.  It would be great, if that resentment and frustration didn’t result in accusations of me “always nagging” when I ask if he will be going to watch Lemon’s field hockey game today.  Not to mention the constant snappishness in response to questions such as, “oh, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well.  Do you think it’s a reaction to food, or do you think you have a bug?”  {definitely nagging behavior … right?}

So it’s not really great.

And I’m tired, and I’m not really loving the trial-business now that I’m a week in.

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