It’s 10:42 PM. I just finished making my dinner–a salad, because I’m trying to be healthy and not expand at an exponential rate. I just let the dogs in for the night and apologized to them for another long day of missing the mommy. I just tucked my kid in, kissed his head, and remembered the sounds of his tired sobs as he waited for Mommy to get home.
I knew summer courses would be long. I expected the hectic of the normal semester, and I had taken into account the longer hours involved in cramming a sixteen week course into ten weeks. What’s the difference of six weeks? Around thirty-six hours, give or take.
What I hadn’t factored in, which I should have, now that I think about it, is that summer means no school.
No school for the tiny tot–the one who loves being home with Mommy.
I realize that now, as I face another day of figuring out how to shuffle my child between my work life and my … work life. Work sent out schedules this evening, which gave the lot of us the all clear, with the exception of unscheduled cases at the hospitals we service. The next message came through, and I gave a short groan. It stated that there might be a case at 0800, and that case had my name written all over it.
Don’t get me wrong; I love the surgeon. The hours can be a bit waning, but the company is good.
Still, it made me think of my son. If I have an unscheduled case in the morning, do I wake a tired boy–a boy who crawled into bed at 10:20 PM–at 7 AM? Do I bring him early to daycare, so that he can make the field trips planned this week? If the unscheduled case goes beyond 6 PM, what then? Who do I call? My mom? My dad? My sis?
Am I facing another tired day without seeing my kid during the summer?
But, if I don’t work, what then? Will we get to play with the dogs, go swimming, and work on our reading, math, and writing skills?
… Will I finally get to go to the grocery store, or create a new list of agents to query?
The worst part of this summer break–which has seen me walking in the door with my tiny human after 9 PM every night–is the long hours. On days like this, I am fatigued, and I look around the messes that popped up from thin air and feel defeated. Toys, plates, cups, clothes, and Legos have worked themselves into a home that was spotless for twenty minutes on Friday. But, it’s now 10:53, and I still haven’t eaten my salad.
The best part about this summer break–which I have felt on two or three occasions–is that there is no school in the morning, so the alarm doesn’t need to be set. … With the exception of tomorrow, and the possible morning case that might last well into the evening.
I feel like my son gets the short stick of the Mommy tree this summer, and it leaves me feeling a distinct sense of guilt. I feel guilt that I’m working while he’s in the care of others. I feel guilt that I miss the fun he gets being off of school for three months. However, I’m the only source of income in our tiny world, and the overwhelming (staggering, astounding) primary source of income even after the meager child support (which would be less if the mediator had listened to a callous attitude in regards to Tiny) is factored in.
I’m the sole reason we have a roof over our head, and the main person teaching this tiny child how to follow his dreams through hard work and true grit. I’m the breadwinner, because I have had to make the difficult decision to hold two jobs as a single mother in divorce. Due to these two jobs, and all the others that brew in the background, waiting to gain momentum over my time, I no longer have to fear that spending an extra $30 will keep me from making the mortgage that month. Hopefully, he’ll be able to look back on everything I’ve done to financially support us, and know that my time away from him was necessary for our survival.
What does Mommy do? Mommy works in the medical field full-time.
What does Mommy do? Mommy teaches adults how to achieve their dreams and believe in themselves along the way at night.
What does Mommy do? Mommy takes photographs to capture the important moments in life on the weekends.
What does Mommy do? Mommy listens to fantastical dreams of tiny humans, and works hard to move those dreams into fruition.
What does Mommy do? Mommy writes to fulfill her soul and calm her mind, … but would still like that agent.
What does Mommy do? … Mommy works, and works, and works, all the time … .
Even though the late hours are grueling for both of us, and both of us are fatigued beyond belief, when Tiny saw me tonight, he ran to me, hugged me, and told me he’d been waiting on my arrival. He’d stayed awake for me and was excited to go home. Although, he may of said that because home means bed, and bed means sleep.
He was a very sleepy boy.
Still, as I put the dogs up and made my salad, I couldn’t help but groan at the length of the days ahead.
It’s only Monday.
On the bright side, there’s only eleven more weeks until Fall semester begins. Now, I guess, I can finally eat my salad.