Aside from being a great source of career satisfaction, my recent changes in job duties have also played whack-a-mole with my ability to meet deadlines and get things accomplished. My normal duties didn't go away with the move to our business partner's offices, and so I where I used to work in shorter, intense spurts, now I find I have to increase the intensity and the amount of time involved in order to have any hope of getting even the minimum done needed to keep the hungry hordes at bay.
By the time I get home I'm mentally wiped out, but with SG working the outage, I'm still flying a bit solo when it comes to laundry and kids and animals. He's a huge help when he gets home in the mornings, covering those last details of getting the kids ready so I can leave for work. Evenings when the kids are home are a chaotic, lovely jumble of feeding humans and animals and trying to skim at least the worst of the days' messes before I collapse in my chair with an ice pack on my sciatica.
Despite feeling tired and sore, I'm making more effort this year to ride as often as possible and engage in more social activities. Last year when SG was out of town I had a tendency to hide when i was down or lonely (which was a lot) and I think that was not so good for me. This year I'm committed to every other week dressage lessons and riding every single weekend. I have plans for going out with friends and with SG (once the outage is over. TWO MORE DAYS!) Last weekend was the only weekend in months I didn't ride, but it was my 30th high school class reunion, so I have a good excuse. I was too busy having fun and waxing nostalgic over days gone by, and after being out of town since last week I'm now paying the price at home and at work. Not to mention I've been trying to get the pool put up for the last three weeks - not by actually doing anything but by continually reminding SG to call his nephew to help me do it. Monday night I finally bit the bullet and started working on it. Damn if I didn't get it half done when the skies started thundering and flashing lightning before dumping rain all over me. Its rained every day since.
The kids are on their second week of summer break. I didn't get much scheduled for the month of June, but come July and August they've both got camps to go to. Amazon Girl will take swimming lessons again and go to a horse camp and then two art camps and a music camp. It was harder to find camps for Race Car Man. There are some science camps locally but none with the appropriate staffing or resources to deal with his complex behaviors. I was torn about signing him up for camps through a local disability resource center, but when I reviewed the curriculum I felt like it would be a lot more enriching for him than just having him at home or at daycare. I've managed to set up a schedule for him that inludes several weeks at the ARC camp, a vacation bible school, some time at daycare and some time off with me and time at his dad's. Overall I'm satisfied that both kids will have an enjoyable summer. I'm avoiding adding up all the various costs for the camps because I'm pretty sure I don't want to look at the total. Oh, its worth every penny of it. But its a lot of pennies.
The last week of school for the kids was a bit poignant for me. The moving up ceremony for the fifth graders was on Wednesday. I managed not to cry when Amazon Girl was handed her certificate for a Presidential Award for Academic Excellence. Thursday was field day, and I spent the morning with Race Car Man. He wanted very much to do two activities - the rope climb and the sack race. He was not at all interested in trying anything else. We talked about it for a little bit and eventually he agreed to try a few things. When the 11:30 bell rang for his group to go back to class he'd thrown the football through a hoop, tried the frisbee toss, rolled a ball at a stack of cans and chucked a nerf ball as far as he could get it. I was proud of him not only for making the effort to try new things as I was for his ability to change his mind about doing so. It was a little bittersweet; spending time with him in the comapny of other boys his age reminds me in a way I'm not used to just how different he is from neurotypicals. At the same time, I recognize that those differences aren't necessarily bad. Yes, he has what might be considered deficits, but he has an amazing number of positive attributes as well.
Next fall Amazon Girl starts middle school. It will be a big change for her -- for both of them, really. Race Car Man has had his sister to lean on ever since kindergarten. They ride the bus together, go to aftercare together. In some respects its probably been as hard for them as anything. They're typical siblings in the way that they both fight with and love one another fiercely. Next year Race Car Man will have to learn to navigate alone, and as much as I think it will be a challenge I also think it will be really good for him. Amazon Girl will finally have the chance to concentrate on herself and not need to worry about trying to keep her brother out of trouble. It will be a most decidedly interesting year, for all of us.
I have a feeling it will be here sooner than I'm prepared for.