It has just occured to me that my life is about to take a big change.
I've been fully aware (for years) that next year will change my life. All three kids will finally be in public school, at the same school. I have been looking forward to this because they will all go for full days. I have been looking forward to this because this week I write MY LAST TUITION PAYMENT until college (!!!!!) And I look forward to it because my volunteer efforts, formerly spread between two schools will now firmly reside under one roof. Instead of being a mom who does a bit here and a bit there, without anyone knowing that I've overextended, it all happens under one roof. I see this as a way to cut back, and no one's the wiser.
But just this week, I realized the price for the change. I get to spend a significant amount of time with my little sidekick, Joey. I've been picking him up earlier than the other kids for years, and yesterday, like many, many other days that generally cause me frustration, he had a day off from school that did not coincide with the AISD schedule.
He and I kicked around the house in our PJs, and eventually got dressed to run some errands. By 1:45, while hopping from store to store, I realized we hadn't eaten lunch. The choices, in Joey's eyes, were McDonald's or McDonald's. I hate the smell of McD's and the way my skin feels instantly oily when I walk through the door. So I thought on my feet and offered an inventive alternative..... Chuck E Cheese's!
Let me state for the record, that I have NEVER advocated going there. I hate that place. I have attended so many birthday parties up there and it is just yukky. Very corporate-branded, very loud, very mediocre food, but very NOT McDonald's. But, I was pretty sure they had a salad bar, and you can't mess up pizza, and I am getting so sentimental about my special time with Joey coming to a close. I thought I'd be a great mom for that offer.
Of course, once I got inside, I saw three moms I know from Joey's pre-school (snooty West Austin school) and now they would think I hang out here all the time. Eventually they came over to talk to me, and the conversation started with me explaining I would never choose Chuck E's for lunch but was up North and out of time and options. They countered that they had never chosen to host a birthday party there, and of course they hate the place too. Joey pipes up and says that he hates it, because he only likes McDonald's. Oh well.
So in the end, he and I had a sliver of time to play a video game together. And we had a sketch done at the booth that takes photos and makes them look hand drawn. The lighting is always such that I look quite good in the final image. David says it is because the lighting doesn't show wrinkles. And I have a nice momento of one of my last days to play with Joey while the big kids are away.