For years, Monday has been my favourite day of the week. It’s my one day off when I can catch up on what’s been lagging behind from the week before. It’s the time to get groceries, do some gardening, clean the house, and perhaps sneak a 20-minute nap.
That all changed when Dan came along. Daniel and I spend our Mondays together. He goes to school until 10:30 and then I pick him up, and we spend the day together while his brother and sister are at school. Dan isn’t the strong, silent type. Strong? Yes. Silent? No. He’s always got something to say about everything. He is a high maintenance guy, who requires a lot of attention and gives you lots of attention as well. He’s interested in everything that everyone is doing and how he can be involved.
On Mondays we have had the same routine all school year. I wait in the schoolyard for him to come out. He yells, “MAAAAWWWMMMEEEEE!!!” every time, as if it is a surprise that I’m there. He runs over and jumps up into my arms, almost knocking me over. Then he yells, “Raceyatodavan!!!” and bolts across the schoolyard to the van. Inside there is a little drink waiting for him, and then we go about our day. Sometimes it’s a day of cleaning at home, sometimes shopping, sometimes playing.
For a while I lamented the fact that I had a little guy who needed so much attention on the one day I had to get everything done. It was hard to get any constructive work done with him wanting to be a part of everything I did and talking incessantly all the while.
But yesterday was my last Monday alone with Dan. At any time during the day, I could have been brought to tears if the right words had been said. I didn’t get those days of being at home with my older kids to bond with them and play with them for hours while they were growing from babies to preschoolers. They came to me at school age, and there was no stay-at-home time with them.
But Dan was a preschooler when he arrived, and I had a small time to spend at home with him. Once I had finished my nine months of parental leave, Mondays were that time.
Yesterday was my last Monday alone with Dan. I can’t seem to process how I feel about it. In the Fall, he will be back to school full-time and there won’t be any Mom and Dan days.
It’s easy as a parent to wish time away, to hope for that time when we can be free to have time to ourselves, to be able to have more freedom without having to give full attention to a little person. But along this parenting journey I have to remind myself that little boys are only 5 for one year. We only have them with us and at that stage for such a brief moment. We have to be able to let go of what isn’t in order to recognize the value of what is here, now.
I suppose I will enjoy my Mondays in September. I will have quiet days to myself, getting lots of housework caught up, buying groceries and taking a nap. But I would trade all of that for more Mondays with Dan.