Note: I don't care to read really long posts. This is a really long post. I am sorry for that. But today has been a very exciting day for me, and I am writing all of this down, more for myself than you. If you, like me, don't like reading long posts, you may want to skip this one. There wasn't much I could leave out. So I am going to post this in two parts.
Supermom here, reporting from the computer lab on campus, bringing an end to my first full day of college after thirteen years away.
Normally I would be posting from home, but Hubby called and informed me our computer got a nasty virus and everything - that's right...E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G had to be deleted from it. That means 9 months worth of pictures - gone.
Backup now. If you haven't done it to your computer, stop reading and do it now.
But on to happier things.
I began my day at 6:30 this morning, groggy, but excited. Hubby stepped up and gave me room to shower, dress and even put on makeup, keeping me apprised of the time. Which actually proved to be a bit annoying. But one must give credit where credit is due. I wasn't late.
All the kids stood at the door as I pulled out of the driveway in Hubby's little green Tracer, waving and blowing kisses. Baby stood there, too, her little mouth in a downward wail, mouthing the words, "Mama".
And these were the doors I walked through to my first class at 8:00 a.m. - Introduction to Psychology.
Luckily, I had found my classroom last week, so I didn't have to roam the halls like a freshman. Once there, I see the door is locked and there are students waiting.
They are all very young. I am, in fact, the mother of the group. Perhaps, even the grandmother.
We all stand quietly. I try to make eye contact, but everyone is obviously feeling nervous. A middle aged woman passes by, looking for a particular class. She passes us twice, with no one making the effort to help.
I can't stand it.
"Do you need some help?" I offer, in true motherly fashion. She looks relieved. I point her in the right direction and she heads off, while I return to the fragile silence there in the hall.
A handsome policeman comes to our rescue with keys in hand. He unlocks the door for us and we all choose a desk.
Me, being the over-eager suck-up I am, sit right on the front row. Everyone else? Against the wall.
The policeman sets his keys down on the folding table at the front of the class and says, "Okay, open up your textbooks to page 5."
Huh? A policeman is teaching us psychology? And then the bigger question... can I really concentrate on the subject with such a dashing young man teaching it?
He then breaks into laughter. "Just kidding. Your instructor is running a little late."
After he leaves, more silence. Then the three young, freshman boys in the back begin a conversation. I know they are freshman, because they are so...freshman. They are apparently friends. One of them takes a phone call from another mutual friend and informs one of the young men next to him that said friend advised him not to copy from them. That got a hearty laugh.
About five minutes after eight, a young blonde rushes in. She is tall and thin, with a tank top, cargo pants and flipflops. She is very pretty, and very happy the instructor hasn't yet arrived. She breathes a sigh of relief and plops down in the desk next to mine. She looks over and smiles.
As someone who loves to talk, especially to adults, I take this cue, because I am, at this point, starving for interaction. I mean, it's been all of half an hour since I really talked to anyone.
"Are you a freshman?" I ask. As it turns out, she is. Her name is Amy. She went to college four years ago right out of high school, but "didn't care about it then". We chat a bit and I find out she has a three-year-old daughter she is raising alone and works as a cocktail waitress at the casino.
The instructor arrives out of breath, coffee cup in hand. He is a small man, with good hair and lots of laugh lines.
A good sign.
He is practically vibrating with energy, and probably a bit too much caffeine.
Another good sign.
I decide I like him right away.
You know, I had this idea I might be distracted by thoughts of home, worrying about the kids, worrying about Hubby. But strangely enough, I wasn't. I was completely enthralled with this little man and his stories. I suddenly became very interested in Psychology and wanted to know more. Why do we do the things we do? How can I better understand people around me?
And only one, teeny, tiny, fleeting thought of home, that was quickly chased away by Dr. Dan's story of his cat, Bob, who threw up at 2:30 this morning.
The hour and a half flew by. Before I knew it, we were being dismissed.
Amy and I made a few rounds around campus, picking up various papers and parking permits. She asked me what I did. "Well, I'm a stay-at-home mom," I replied. "I wish I could be," she said wistfully. I looked into her hazel eyes, my heart sending up a silent plea for her, and said, "Maybe someday you will be."
She had to go to work and we parted ways.
I went on to the bookstore to buy books, where the nice, young man who helped me told me I had very pretty eyes. I throw that little tidbit in because...well, wouldn't you?
After buying books, cute pens and binders, I decided to head home for a little bit. And boy, what a welcome I received. Baby was the first, running as fast as she could to greet me, arms open wide. I picked her up as her little arms clasped around my neck. She held on tight, snuggling her head into my neck and softly patting my back.
And I thought, "This is why it is good for mommies to leave. How else could I experience the sweetness and joy of the reunion?"
Things at home were good, but not too good. Hubby was exhausted from working three back to back shifts over the weekend, averaging about four hours of sleep per night. I had an hour and a half before meeting a friend for lunch, so I offered to take the kids to do the grocery shopping and he could take a nap.
Ain't I a good, little wifey?
So, I packed them up in the minivan and we headed to the grocery store. On the way, the overcast day produced some sprinkles. Upon Brother's advisment, I take the umbrella into the store with us.
When we come out, the floodgates have opened and I have to make my way to the van with a grocery cart full of groceries and three children. Luckily we got a close parking space. Brother opens up the van door and quickly climbs in. Sister wants to splash in puddles and I have to get her in before Baby. I grab her arm and practically throw in her in while trying to balance this umbrella that is trying to carry me away like Mary Poppins leaving the young, English children. Since Baby spent the entire shopping trip trying to stand up and climb out of the seat in the cart, I figured she might stand up and reach out to me then, which would have been helpful since I was virtually single-handed.
At that point in time she was perfectly content to sit, frozen like a statue, watching me try to keep us and all the bags of food dry.
Ever picked up a toddler with one hand? I'm here to tell you, it can be done. Especially when you are afraid your umbrella might act as a lightning rod.
I saved Hubby from a very exciting adventure. Take note, Sweetie. Next time, I won't be so nice.
After soggily delivering the children and groceries, I kissed them good-bye again and got back into the driver's seat of the Tracer. It was odd, going from the family vehicle, filled with car seats, and books on tape and nursery rhymes playing on the cassette player, to the little economy car, where the radio played Van Halan's "Hot For Teacher" and there are no toys rolling around on the floor. It was almost like going back and forth between alternate universes.
12:30 p.m.- Lunch with a friend, which actually turned into lunch with yet another friend, who happened to be there, too. I had French Onion soup, a turkey sandwich and an iced coffee.
And I didn't have to say, "Please sit down and be quiet" or "This is not a playground" once. Not even once.
I did mention I needed a bookbag, so we went shopping.
Just like that.
In the middle of the day.
With no children.
And at one point, I even wondered aloud, "What the heck am I doing?!"