Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crying over spilled milk

When I was in high school, I volunteered at the local pool in their after-school program. I taught a cooking "class" and supervised the trampoline in the gymnasium. (Not at the same time. Usually.)

Something from back then has been on my mind a lot lately. I can't shake the 'you-just-missed-DOOM' feeling. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm a so-called grown up now. Or that I have kids of my own. But whatever...

We offered a sleep-over night. A bunch of teenagers and one adult and a whole roomful of 10-year olds. My boyfriend came along to help (me out of my clothes). We would go to gather supplies and meander down the deserted hallways in the basement of the building and make out, a bit. I don't *think* there were security cameras, but I shudder to think that my indiscretions may have been captured. Oh, they were fairly innocent indiscretions - all clothing was kept on. Mostly. Anyhoo....

Once the kids were all asleep, someone had the bright idea to go swimming in the pool. So we all did. Except for the lone adult, she stayed in the main hall, which overlooked the pool and was close to the room where all the kiddos were. Smart lady.

We had a blast in the water, playing silly games. I think my boyfriend came back into the lady's changeroom with me.... but again, I digress. I have a vague memory of one of the kids coming out and sitting with K and she watched us swim. And I still thank my lucky stars that no one drowned. That no one got hurt. That the kids didn't need us. That K was using her brain. (A very sweet lady, but she was a bit... slow.) That I didn't get more carried away with that boyfriend. (Who later dumped me because I wouldn't go all the way with him. Sheesh!)

I volunteered at one other sleepover later that season. (I guess there weren't any security cameras - we're talking a fairly small town, back in the mid-90s - I never would have been allowed back with the kids!) It was much better organized. Several adults (university students, maybe?) with great ideas for activities and they put on a movie fairly early in the evening so the kids could all fall asleep watching it. (James and the Giant Peach). Someone asked if we could go swimming once the kids were out, but the higher-ups quickly (and gently) shot down the idea, listing all the reasons why it wasn't a cool or safe idea.

That was years ago. Nothing bad happened, but still I think, what if those kids told their parents? What if the day staff found out? I would fah-reak out as a parent if I found out that all of the supervisors pretty much abandoned the kids during a sleepover. There's no way we could have gotten to the kids on time had something gone wrong when we were swimming. A completely irresponsible night on my part. And that wasn't like me at all.

But lately I feel like shirking my responsibilities once again. Throw caution (and common sense) to the wind and go with the flow. This is a sign that I need to slooooow down and prioritize my life. Clean off my desk. Spit out what I can't chew.

Tonight very nearly choked me.

It was business as usual, coming home with the boys. They were hyper and hungry and screaming over toys while I made supper. They fought over stuffed animals while eating supper. There were 5 different drink spillage occurrences within a 10 minute span. I opened the fridge at one point to grab the milk for Felix (after he spilled his once again) and burst into tears. Came totally out of left field, I didn't expect it and still can't pinpoint the reason.

When they started shrieking at each other again, I calmly went outside and sat on the steps to settle myself down. It was so peaceful and I wanted to run down the street, tossing my mommy-role under the first bus I came to. But I didn't. I yelled back inside for them to come sit with me. And they did. So we sat, and waited for Jay to come home from work.

Then he took over so I could sit/cry/wail on my own.

And now I feel better.

Except for this fear of sending the boys on a sleepover in case they get another young-me as a chaperon!

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