Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sea Change

Our new life looks like this:
  • I get up at 6, not 7.
  • I drag Amanda out of bed at 6:10, not 7:30.
  • Amanda moans, and cries, and shivers in the cold, dark morning.
  • Amanda and I leave the house at no later than 7:15.  Emma and Daniel are still eating their breakfast.
  • I drop Amanda off at barnehage no later than 7:20.  This morning she was the first one to be dropped off.  Yesterday evening (due to god-awful traffic and a late bus, she was the last one to be picked up.  I swore I would never do that to my we are).
  • I catch a bus into town no later than 7:30.
  • At 7:40, I call Emma from the bus to tell her it's time to start getting coats and shoes on, and then to head to school.  "Try to remember to turn out the lights," I say. "Okay Mom.  I love you," she says.  "You're a big girl, Em.  I love you too."  I hang up, then turn up the volume on my iPod, and try not to think about how Boy is surely walking out into -23 degree weather without his coat zipped up because I'm not there to do it for him.
  • With any luck, the bus rolls into town around 8:20.
  • I run/trot/shuffle clumsily over icy cobble stones to my new school in order to make my 8:30 class.  Biology on Mondays and Wednesdays; Math on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
  • It's high school, folks.  I'm back in high school.
  • Somedays I'm back home before Emma and Daniel get home.  Somedays I'm not.  Keys to the house have been made and given to both.  Daniel was so proud of his; he showed it off to all his friends.
  • Thursdays will be the hardest.  Emma will have to take a bus--on her own--into to town to her art class.  Daniel will come home alone.  Mister will leave work an hour early to pick up Amanda from barnehage.  I'll be done with my class in time to pick up Emma after her class.  We'll take the bus home together.  We were all set to practice this new routine--Mister had arrange to take the day off, so he could be there to take the bus that first time with Emma, just so she'd know where it was going to go (it takes a slightly different route than we usually drive)--but the damn art class was cancelled at the last minute, so we didn't get a chance to practice.  Next week...
  • It's only been three days since our new life started.  Only three days. 
  • It's still not quite sunk in that this is it.  Every day, every week, through to the end of the school year.
  • I feel guilty all the time.  The kids weren't expecting this.  They could do without the shake up.
  • Mister says I'm dead wrong about this.  If ever there were any three kids in need of a good shake up, it's our three kids. 
  • Be that as it may, it doesn't feel good.
  • I don't love the classes.  I don't fit in.
  • It's freakin' high school.  I can't dress it up any better than that.  I was hoping there would be more people like me--foreigners in need of extra classes to get into a specific univeristy program.  But, no.  They're all kids. 
  • They look at me like I'm all dusty and decrepid.
  • I'm older than my math teacher.
  • It's weird.
  • On the other hand, I can tell the classes are already working wonders on my Norwegian.  My infant math teacher spent 3 hours this morning teaching me how to divide 3rd and 4th degree polynomials, and I'll be god damned if I didn't understand it.  Mostly.
  • It's a soft entry into the world of Norwegian higher learning.
  • I needed that.
  • But still.  Dude.  It's high school.
  • It's weird.


Queen LaTeacha said...

Know what? I don't think it's just the kids that need a shake up. You're ready for this. Daniel knows how to zip up his coat, and when he gets cold enough, he'll do it right smart! Just like you've been doing for 7 years.

Toby told me he's so proud of you. Believe him. I am too.

Oh....and being older than your teacher.....I get that! I was too.

tracy said...

Wow! That IS a shake up! With each passing day it will get easier as you all become accustomed to the new routine.

I was working 10-12 hour days at the same time I was also in school for clinical nutrition. It was the most draining time - seems so long ago. This, too will become a blink in time and it will flow smoothly before you know it as you grow closer to your goal.

Corinne said...

My mom when back to school when I was younger in order to get her teaching certification. And she was taking night classes as she was still working full-time. It was definitely weird for us kids to not have mom home cooking dinner every night, or needing to study, or something else, but there were no lasting effects. Parents all over the world go back to school and there's nothing to feel guilty about. In fact, you're setting a positive example for the older kidlings. Good think you've got a cooperative Mister to help out!

Corinne said...

And for some reason I can't type today. Excuse all the typos!

Anonymous said...

Keep at it. Even when you find the kids have lost their keys for the nth time, and you feel sure that everyone in the neighbourhood will have picked up one up by now and can ransack the house any time. Even when you find that the kids are going to eat Grandiosa AGAIN for dinner because in the rush, somehow dinner has taken second place. Even when you realise that you are so exhausted the house hasn't been hoovered for a fortnight/month. Even when everyone manages to forget to take their packed lunch to school because you aren't their to make sure it is in their bags. Even when, somehow, hubby fails to make the closing time of barnehage, and your youngest is crying and the staff are mad at you. Even when all these things happen on the same day, and you are convinced that it can't possibly be worth it. Believe me, you'll be the one who feels the stress, not the kids. All of the aforementioned 'disasters' have happened to us here on the other side of Norway (though admittedly not on the same day), and it turns out that none of them are fatal. And, despite all the misgivings, some days worse than others, in the long run, I do think it taught the kids more than it deprived them. Self-reliance is a valuable skill, which you can only provide by giving them the chance to find it. My 2 are amazed at kids who can't manage the bus time table, and although they still don't manage to zip up their jackets as they leave the house at -24C, I could put money on it that they are usually done up by the time they get to school.

Anonymous said...

ps: And you will TREASURE the weekends in a way that is simply not comprehensible to someone who has not had survived a mad, mad week. Knowing that it is Saturday morning is SO delicious!

Jilly Baby said...

Hey JEDA, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. (Although with me I was working and not in school but it's the same thing). I felt guilty every day but now realise that's wrong because now that I've had to give up work again, the kids complain that they're not in after school club!!!

It teaches them independence and you all learn to come together as a family. You're all busy so you all must work together to keep the house ticking over. Your life becomes very ordered but that's no bad thing. Enjoy it, consider it an adventure. And remember, the mornings won't always be dark.

Oh and on the school thing...quit with the moaning! xxx

OSLO said...

I so admire you for this. Stay strong, even when it feels like a struggle.

la dragon said...

So proud of you, JEDA. I know it's grueling and guilt-inspiring but it's so worth it. We'll catch up soon.

Michele said...

Wow, I'm so impressed that you're doing this, especially that you're doing it IN NORWEGIAN! :-) It makes me think I should try a class or something. Except I don't do well with stress. Not nearly as well as you're doing. You should be really proud of yourself. It will get easier at some point, just remember that.

Return to Norway said...

I was thinking of starting a Degree in teaching this autumn but pulled back as I felt the kids aren't ready.

You have just inspired me to reconsider. Well done and keep going!

hexe said...

I think what you are doing is great. Stick with it and the lesson your children learn is that it is never too late to reinvent yourself.