Holy moly, the kids have been funny lately. I mean, when they’re little they’re cute and funny and you lie in your bed at night laughing over the hilarious things they’ve said all day. But when they reach middle childhood, there’s a different quality to the humor and, in our experience, it’s even funnier. As you’ve seen from the last few posts here, we’ve had comical drawings, Calvin & Hobbes related secession attempts, and short stories that will make you cry laughing. It’s like living in a Judy Bloom book 24/7, and I always did love those.
Lest my blog make it seem like Lyle is the only funny child in this house, I need to remind readers that a year or two ago I pulled back on what I share publicly about Baxter. Tweens are less forgiving about what is seen in print and I respect his privacy. I will tell you that Baxter wrote an absolutely incredible story this spring called “Killer Zombie Pigs”, complete with fabulous illustrations. It made quite a splash. It’s too long for me to post on the blog. He also makes me laugh heartily with his sardonic wit many times a day. Sometimes he doesn’t even mean to make me laugh, like today when I showed him how I’d finally taken all the winter clothes out of his wardrobe and reorganized it. He said, impressed, “Thanks. It’s simple and efficient.” I mean, really. That’s funny.
But, despite appearances, I am not actually just following the funny children around, posting their witticisms on Facebook all day. Thanks to my iPhone that only takes about 30 seconds to accomplish, which is a very good thing because that is about all I have had free these days.
It occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned what I’m doing lately. In essence, this past year, I’ve been working. Like a crazy person. I took on a lot of direct service with kids again last year and have been seeing clients at schools and at my office all week except for the two afternoons I still pick up the boys from school. I haven’t worked this many hours in 10 years, and it’s the most kids I’ve seen since I started my practice. My business has really taken off and I get many referrals every week. In fact, one of my big challenges has been figuring out how to make time to return those referral phone calls. Yes, this is a good problem to have. No, that doesn’t actually make it go away.
I won’t bore you with details of what it’s like to work intensively with kids and their families through the day without a break, even for lunch, and then go home to give my full attention to my family, make dinner, get the kids to bed, and then start all the paperwork for the day around 9pm. Suffice it to say, I’ve been late getting reports out to families and haven’t gotten quite enough sleep or time for exercise. This all got ramped up a few notches in April when I began a whirlwind couple months in which I turned 40 and celebrated my birthday (3 times), took a family vacation to California for Spring Break, immediately started a major office relocation and set-up without a single day off, and conducted nearly 20 free preschool speech/language screenings that required follow-up and referrals. All in addition to my regular caseload that was already resulting in late nights and work every weekend. Dizzy yet? Me, too.
But finally, in the last two weeks, I have felt things slow down. The office is set up and almost as done as I’d like it to be (photos here!). My associate, who was away this year, will be back in a couple weeks to work for me again. When I need to schedule a phone call I can give people a few options instead of one 15-minute time slot a week out. I’ve had a handful of clients move or be discharged, so there are a few open spaces in my days and I’m leaving some of them open in spite of the waiting list.
I have been able to focus again on the news (for a couple months there I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even handle listening to NPR on my way home from work, I just needed silence). And I’ve turned some of my focus back toward myself and what I need. I feel calmer. I’ve sat on the couch and read books again. I’ve had time to play games and watch Saturday morning cartoons with the boys. I was able to go to the movies with my family yesterday. I haven’t had a day completely off from work except when we were out of town, but we had a wonderful trip to St. Paul, MN for my college reunion last week. It was fabulous to get away with Matt and the kids and see old friends.
So, yes, things have been out of balance, in many ways. You can see why I’d want to focus on all the million little ways my boys make me smile when we’re together, and perhaps why I’d be writing them down because I fear that, in the busy-ness of this life, those moments could have been too easily forgotten.
And so the summer begins. One more week of school for the boys. Fridays off from treating clients. I wish I could take more than one week off this summer, but my schedule will be lighter and life will be calmer without school. It will be easier.
There, my friends, you have it — a moment for me.
Now back to the funny kids.