Week 24

30 Aug

Last week was Michaela’s first full week of homeschool. It seemed to go pretty well, although I know Mike was super stressed. It’s hard to juggle running a business and being a teacher and taking care of most things around the house!

I spent Monday at my parents’ house so my dad could do some errands (my mom isn’t supposed to be home by herself anymore) and so I could be there for the weekly visit from the hospice nurse. That same day, Mike had a shoot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’re very fortunate that Michaela is a level-headed, independent kid. Mike set her up with the day’s school work and we both took off. Michaela got through what she could, which was most of it, with a little help from the best tutor nana around: Mike’s mom Laura.

Michaela’s relationship with Laura is really beautiful. They video chat nearly every day. And of course it’s not the same as getting to see each other, but it’s definitely helped give Michaela a feeling of connection and something to look forward to. It’s not clear when we’ll be able to get together again in person, but in the meantime, it’s nice to see Nana (and Papa!) each day.

I had a book club meeting this week and it was just what I needed! Last month, we read “The Song of Achilles,” which I loved, and it was interesting to hear everyone’s perspective on the book. Of course we also talked a lot about the new school year; everyone in the group is a mom. Of the seven of us who were there that night, three had pulled their kids from the district and put them in charters. One has formed a pod. And the others are going to try to muddle through with the neighborhood school. I’ll be curious when we meet next month to see how everyone’s school year is going.

My book club is made up of a great group of ladies. Not only are they well-read, they’re really nice. Whenever we get together (lately, in someone’s back yard, all 6-feet apart, with bring-your-own food and drink), I leave feeling happy and somehow lighter.

That came in handy the following day, when I went to my mom’s house to relieve my dad and my mom needed help with showering. We’d talked on Monday about getting an aide to help with that and my mom declined. On Thursday, though, she asked if I’d help. Getting in and out of the tub is hard for her because she’s so unsteady on her feet, and showering and washing her hair is exhausting. I was happy to help and it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be (mostly because I didn’t have to actually wash her body, just her hair).

People talk a lot about how taking care of an aging parent can be like taking care of a baby. I was reminded that Mike did most of the caring for Michaela when she was a baby! Ha ha. I was also reminded that my mom did all the care-taking when I was a baby, and it is an honor and a gift to repay her now.

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