For real real

Ir's 4:25 am.

I'm sitting in my office on the bathroom floor because I woke up at 3:46, and I don't want to bother anyone else in the house.

The dog thinks I'm her personal cuddle buddy, so I have the computer propped up on my knees to prevent her from typing stuff that's irrelevant to this blog.

I have to laugh at the 2 of us sitting in here.  People tell me how I'm "superwoman" and that I "have it all together."  I think they know that is not true.  But I do wonder if they picture scenes like this when they picture my togetherness.

I wonder if they realize that most mornings I wake up with no recollection of going to sleep because I didn't intend to fall asleep.  I'm sitting here in my jammies.  No that's not really true.  I'm sitting here in lingerie because the evening was supposed to be about Tony and me.  The last thing I remember is Tony looking at something on his phone and me rolling over to put my glasses on the bedside table.  I think I have some vague recollection of him asking me if I were tired.  I must have been because the next thing I remember is looking at the clock.  3:46 am.  What time did I fall asleep? I think it was bit before 9pm.  For the 4th night in a row.

I consistently get 7 hours of sleep, so I'm far from sleep deprived.  The truth of the matter is my mind is going a million different directions.  A few mornings ago, I woke up a bit after 4:00, and the first thought I had was "we could go to Ikea in Atlanta instead of Kansas City."  That references June 23rd.  Why am I even plotting that out yet?  I did end up talking to Tony about it which led to a conversation about bathroom towels, duvets, and TJ Maxx locations in Buckhead. Because... why?

One of the last conversations I fully remember from last night was a teary confession about wishing I would have stayed at Camilla's orchestra performance longer yesterday, but that I left right after her duet because I didn't want to miss Coralynn in her drama performance.  Except I didn't realize a different class was acting first, so I stood there for 20 minutes watching kids I didn't know act while fighting back tears that I could still be watching Camilla.

And, while I was watching the performance.  I had a ballgown on.  Why?  Because it was formal day at the school where I teach.  We were supposed to dress up to honor the Seniors.  Except most of the Seniors didn't dress up.  Not very many of the other students or the staff did, either.  And, next year, I'm the Student Council sponsor, so I'm constantly making mental notes about next year.  What could I do differently?  How could I get kids more involved?  Why are students so seemingly opposed to school spirit?  How do I create a culture of community at the school?

But then my mind jumps to my family.  Coralynn is a difficult personality.  We love her; she is going through an exhausting stage.  Yesterday, I came home right after Tony left for Carson's soccer game.  (Sometimes I wonder if the kids think Tony and I are the same person because we're so rarely in the same place together.)  He told me that the girls were getting ready to play together because they had been doing their own thing.  I come home to them screaming at each other because Camilla can't handle Coralynn's demands.  (And, I'm thinking about school community?)  The yelling eventually stops, and I go to check on Camilla who looks like she is about to fall asleep.  I ask her if everything is okay.  She says, "yes."  She always says, "yes."

Well except yesterday morning when she broke into tears because she is so stressed about a couple of projects she had do.  She's 10.  She's in the 5th grade.  And, she's breaking down from the stress of deadlines.  I don't know what to do with that.  Is she putting too much pressure on herself?  Are teachers pushing her too hard just because she's "advanced"?  Do they not see through her constant positivity that she's struggling?  Don't they realize that she's only 10?  Maybe I should call the school?  Or maybe she's the same duck I am that's swimming it's freaking legs off while trying to look confident and controlled on the outside but that cracks every so often but so quickly that very few ever see it?

I ask her again if everything is ok.  She tells me that's she's afraid that after the move- when Chloe has her own room- that she won't be able to control Coralynn well enough to keep their room cleaned up.  She explains that Chloe is super strict with Coralynn, and that Coralynn respects Chloe's authority, but that she doesn't have the same power over Bitty.  Camilla likes the order that Chloe brings. (I wonder if I create the same calm with my authority that Chloe does.  That moment when you realize that your fourteen-year-old is your hero.  Like for real.  She is.)  She's hoping that Coralynn will be different after the move.

We've all been completely obsessed with this move because it's turned out to be it's own soap opera.  Landlords fighting with us asking for $$$$ because of things that happen when a family of 6 live in an apartment for 6 years.  Fights between corporations and their suppliers over who gives what to whom when.  Fights over who is allowed to sign which documents and which documents need to be in place before other documents can be processed.  And 4 kids (and their parents) who just want to go to bed the weekend before the move with the final YES that this is actually going to happen.

But, you see, I can't just focus on this move because life doesn't work that way for us super people who have it all together.  Tony also told me last night that our visa paperwork is ready for us to get the final temporary card of this year.   So, next week, we have to go to immigration to finish the process.  Next week, when we're moving and working and taking off work to move and living out of a hotel, we have to find a few hours to sit at immigration.  Before I became a superhero, I could just rearrange a few errand runs and make that all possible.  Now, I'm trying to figure out mover schedules, maid schedules, dog pickup/drop off schedules, kids' summative schedules, exam review schedules, and summer vacation schedules to try to find a time that works.

Here's a news flash for everyone:  there is no time that works.  There just isn't.  Mere mortals admit this to themselves and everyone else.  But, not super people.  We are up at 3:46 trying to find the least intrusive but still doable time.  We rearrange tests and lessons and pool play dates and heaven and earth so that no one else feels anything uncomfortable.  Speaking of which, I really need to check with Chloe to see what her next 2 weeks look like at school, but I can't because she's not here.

She's at a co-ed spend the night birthday party at the beach.

Hello, me from the 15 years ago?  This is you from your future.  You can stop talking big about what situations you will never allow because you're lying to yourself.  Actually, you're just so adorably innocent about what your life will look like that you think you've already figured it all out.  Give it about 15 years- 6 of those living in Panama- and your know-it-all will be replaced with the deepest sense of "God, you have better have this because I have no other options."   Because you're pitifully weak of faith- but better than where you currently are- you'll be terrified that God's going to drop something while at the same time be simply in awe of the work He's doing in your kids' lives.  Keep trucking, me from 15 years ago.  This parenting thing is going to be a beautifully bumpy trip.

It's 5:00 am now.  The dog has settled into a comfy position on the bathmat.  She just kind of sighed and plopped herself on the floor.  She's clearly given up on me. Doesn't she realize I have it all together?  And, as such, I have to get today started.  Carson has bass guitar practice from 9:00-10:00, and I have to pick up three of Coralynn's friends at 10:00 (at three different locations), so that we can all go celebrate her party from 11-2.  Well, except for Chloe who hopefully remembered to take the keys because she's returning from the beach at some point today, and I'm not sure where we're going to be because we also have the Senior Banquet at school at 7:00 (I need to be there by 5:30ish) that I'm kind of in charge of (with my team of super people).  Note to self: remember to leave a note for Chloe that she and the other kids need to pack for the next week at the hotel and put all their valuables in the big red tote that I completely forgot to bring home from school yesterday.

I think I may have a rip in my cape.

To God-given endurance and humor and to a total lack of a pit in my stomach,


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