Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.
Our weekday began as usual, as our caravan of kids (Girlio, Boy-o, and his classmate set off on our half-hour (more in bad traffic) schlep to school. And, because it's such a hike home, Girlio and I hang out downtown running errands or hitting the library, bookstore or indoor gym before getting back into the cat to get Boy-o and head 'er back home. But as Girlio and I were stuck in our fourth traffc jam of the day trying to get to the library for fun-time, I was struck by this overwhelming sense of craptastic guilt about how much time this wee small babe of mine will be spending in the car this year.
We had strong, solid reasons for choosing this school, because it was clearly the best choice for Boy-o. But we hadn't really factored in how much of an impact this choice would have on Girlio, who gets in and out of her car seat an average of 8 times every morning. (Guilt. Guilt. Guilt).
I try very hard to make our morning adventures fun. We try to keep the errand mornings down to only once per week, and focus the rest of the time on things she will also enjoy. But the fact remains that this wee girl spends too much time in the car. Way too much time. (Guilt. Guilt. Guilt).
When Boy-o was his sisters age, I spent all of my waking time, feeding, nurturing, playing, and engaging with him. Sure - we went grocery shopping and ran errands, but he didn't spend four mornings a week in the car. And now, my joy at watching him simply flourish at our chosen school is tempered by the fact that Girlio is not getting the time, the attention, the engagement she deserves. (Did I mention that I feel guilty about this yet?)
And yet - our options for changing this routine feel fairly limited. I don't feel comfortable sending Boy-o to a public school in our area, for reasons I've already spoken to ad nauseum (I do like the beat that particular horse, I know). We can't in any way, shape or form afford to move closer to our chosen school, though this is clearly an area I covet. Boy-o can't ride the bus, and even if he could, it would feel like shooting my right foot to save the left one. Doesn't make sense.
So what then? This is the struggle of having two kids, when their needs sometimes feel (and sometimes are) so different. We continue to do the best that we can, with the resources we have. I will keep on struggling to make those 8 (and eeek, sometimes more) car transitions worth Girlio's while. I will keep buying lottery tickets. I will keep my eyes and ears peeled for better, closer school options.
And in the meantime, I'll keep feeling guilty.