I envy them their freedom during school hours to volunteer to do this or that, either helping their child specifically or helping children globally.
I envy them their ability to shepherd children from this activity to that activity to this activity and back again without having to rely on the kindness of friends.
I envy them their well kept homes and hair and children and pets and cars and their constant tending to said homes, hair, children, pets and cars.
I envy them their clashes with surly teens throughout the after school hours and I envy them their quality time with the younger kids.
I am typically home a few days each week, which makes me one of the fortunate working parents. Working from home those days, though, means I'm not really home.
So, no, I can't do that field trip. (Unless I luck out like last month and had to be in Sacramento for a meeting on the same day as the fourth grade trip there.)
And, no, I can't go have Lunch on the Lawn with my middle schooler. (Like most 8th grade girls, she'd be mortified if I did show up, so while there's no loss to her there's an incredible missed opportunity on my part to mortify her.)
And, no, I can't take part in yet another effin' staff appreciation event at the frickin' high school. (Which isn't to say I don't appreciate the staff, necessarily, just that I think we're spending entirely too much time and effort cherishing the teachers when, let's face it, they'd probably just want more money for supplies than another catered breakfast or lunch.)
I'm tired. Really tired. Tired of being tired. Tired of feeling guilty. Tired of being envious. But too tired to do anything about it except take 8.2 minutes to note I'm tired.
Now, off to make the lunches, take the dog, take Youngest to school, set up graham crackers and orange juice for the 4th grade STAR test takers, shower, and head into Oakland, where I may (or may not) encounter black-clad occupiers. My advice to them? Get a freakin' job. Come be miserable like the rest of us.