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Vicious Cycle

It never fails. All week long I yearn for the weekend, that peaceful time at home with my kids, those little people I feel like I never see and whose lives are passing me by while I worry about their savings and tuition fees and the daily financial demands of living in a house and driving cars. Then Friday night arrives in all its disappointing fatigue and stress thanks to the week preceding it, and I hinge my hopes on Saturday, which greets me most typically with a fairly innocent set of questions about whose turn it is for the gameboy, but ends with me cursing myself for once again thinking the kids can handle staying up late without attacking each other or me. Sunday is an on again, off again last ditch effort on my part to cling to any enjoyable moment in the hopes it will multiply if nurtured with enough of my silent appreciation for it, but inevitably the silent appreciation holds too much eagerness, which saturates the moment with expectation we can only fall short of. Sunday night, even if spent drinking margaritas and ingesting thousands of yummy queso calories, usually ends with someone yelling, in tears, or in Quinn's case, demanding to know why he never gets anything he wants. Ever.

This weekend was particularly full of expectation because I was out of town on mind-numbing business for a week beforehand. It's like the kids don't know how to handle the transition to my being back home, especially knowing that I'll be going back to the office Monday through Friday, which may as well mean I'm out of town again. In fact, now that I think about it, this weekend is probably the quintessential weekend, different from the norm not in content, but in intensity. We've played games, watched movies, told stories, and spent most waking moments together, but somehow it can never be enough. In their zeal for togetherness, they lose control and compete unfairly, testing where my loyalties will fall and then ganging up to see me squirm when they push my buttons together. By tonight's bedtime, although I was determined to end the night --the weekend -- with no yelling or crying, I was at the end of my rope and certainly wasn't the attentive and loving person the kids thought they missed all week long.

By this time tomorrow I'll be lamenting all the time spent at the office, all of the demands that take my focus off of my family and home. Tuesday and Wednesday will feel like pits of despair and guilt, especially when I lean down for good night kisses and hear, "I missed you today." Thursday and Friday will be wished away and there may even be brief evening discussions about how to change this scenario permanently (hello, fantasy world). But then on Friday night there will be shrieking and there will be hitting and there will be Bryce's quick and now predictable response, "One more chance! I didn't do it! It was Quinn's fault!" and I'll think, "Crap. It's the weekend again."