It sounds lovely, doesn't it? But it's come with a price.
I had suspected as much, and my suspicions were confirmed last night. My husband had the opportunity to go to dinner with a friend, and he asked if I would mind picking up the kids from their karate class. Not a problem. I figured I would stay a little later at work, since class didn't end until 6:30, and try to knock off a couple of the million items on my to-do list.
I made it to 5:30. That's when it hit me. I just didn't want to be there any longer. I was tired, Spring-Break-can't-get-here-fast-enough tired. I stayed a few minutes longer to straighten up a few things and to make sure I was ready for the next day. Then I grabbed my bags, turned off the lights, and walked out the door.
It was early enough that I thought about going home first, but as I neared the turn-off for karate, I steered that direction instead. Usually, when I take my boys to class, I bring with me papers to grade or a book to read. Last night, I walked into the building empty-handed.
For 30 minutes, all I did was watch my boys kick, punch, and perform escapes. And I loved every minute of it! If felt so freeing and relaxing to do nothing but sit and watch my boys. It seemed they had grown stronger and more sure of themselves during the weeks I had missed. Jack's kicks seemed steadier and Jared's punches sounded more powerful each time his fist met the pad. I beamed with pride. Really, I think I literally beamed, or at least I wore a goofy smile on my face. I felt so happy to just be there, to be spending time with my children, to be fully in the moment with them.
Yes, it's been nice to have fewer responsibilities. But it turns out that when those responsibilities involve your children, it's a loss, not a win.