One of my sisters has an incredible memory. She recalls scenes from our childhood with great detail, and when she says, "Do you remember when...?," more often than not, I don't. I can't tell you the names of most of my elementary teachers or specifics about kids I played with or what I liked to eat for lunch. There are, however, a few strong childhood memories that remain lodged in my seemingly sieve-like brain. One includes a green and white van, a drive-in movie theater, and Freaky Friday, the 1976 original film with Jodie Foster, not the updated Jamie Lee Curtis-Linsay Lohan affair.
In 1976, I was seven years old and my parents drove a green and white striped van, not a minivan, but an industrial-sized van with three bench seats in the back that could accommodate our family of nine. One night after dinner, my folks treated us to a grand surprise-- an evening at the drive-in movies to watch the Disney film. We brought pillows and blankets, spread them out on the roof on the van, and sprawled on top. My dad must have jerry-rigged the speaker so we could hear the sound atop the roof. There we watched Ms. Foster, in all her shaggy-hair glory, magically 'become' her mother for a day and vice versa. Confusion and gags ensue, but ultimately, daughter and mother come to an understanding of the other's position, that life is not easy or smooth for the other, and that everyone has her own share of stresses.
I feel like I am about to enter my own version of Freaky Friday, as P and I will remain true to our pre-kid promises to each other, sharing childcare as much as possible. In a quick reversal, come July 1st, I will be working out of the home while he takes on the role as full-time-at-home caregiver for the boys for the summer months. The news is just settling with me as I signed the contract only today and am wrapping my head around this whole new position, still in a school setting, but not in a teaching capacity. I swing wildly from being incredibly excited and overwhelmingly terrified, questioning if those folks at that school know what they are doing offering me the job. Being out of the (paying) workforce for some years has not-so-quietly eroded my professional confidence, and I suspect it will take Sara a bit to get her groove back (OK, I swear that's the only time I will refer to myself in the third person---so obnoxious, but I was playing on Terry McMillan, which maybe I should well avoid, given the cost of getting her groove back, an ugly, tell-all-the-secrets, bitter divorce battle).
ANYWAY, one of the most exciting parts of this job is that S and C will be joining me at this school in September, the school where we really wanted them to attend, but couldn't figure out the finances. Thanks to two of the sweetest words ever uttered--tuition remission-- the boys will get to go to this wonderful, progressive independent school. And thanks to the multi-age classrooms, our entire placement debate (K or 1st?; 1st or K?) becomes a moot point. YAY. P and I will still be spending a pretty penny for tuition for both the twins and F, who begins at the rocking preschool S and C currently attend, but we would rather put our money towards their education than a great trip to Jamaica or a second car. We are so lucky we can make the choice in the first place--or second, I guess, since we were unable to until I was offered this job.
So as I found myself, once again, gritting my back teeth with F's continued refusal to nap and sit on the potty, I stopped to realize that in a few short weeks, this will be more of P's job than mine. I'm no Jodie Foster, but I welcome the opportunity to step into another role for this next phase.