And just like that, summer is gone. It seems like yesterday that the boys were celebrating the last days of school. Gearing up for beach vacations, lazy days on the lake, and visions of summer camps. And then, poof! We’re rummaging through picked over school supply aisles and practicing locker combinations. Throughout all this, I’ll occasionally run into another mom who says something that makes me cringe. One that I can’t relate to, and one that surely makes me feel like the worst mom on earth.
The comment, usually catching me off guard while multi-tasking a monster or two, sounds something like “I’m so sad that the kids are already heading back to school!” I struggle to find a response that doesn’t make me sound like the worst mom ever. “Oh, I’m ready!” is usually where I leave it, without getting too defensive. What I REALLY want to say is one of the many thoughts swirling through my head, like … “What on earth is wrong with you? Don’t you want your time back? How have you gotten ANYTHING done?” I then walk away feeling a bit bad, and realizing it’s hardly them. In fact, I’m kind of jealous of how much they love spending all that time with their kids.
Summer is a complicated season for me. We truly do have so many wonderful summertime memories, and many which I’ve shared with you. I LOVE that we have no schedules. Very few sports, and no religious school or evening clubs. But I also HATE that we have no schedules, which means there’s an abundance of time to kill. Some of my boys head out and ride bikes for HOURS. But then I have a few “I’m bored”ies, who have to be instructed hourly on what to do next. And if not, they’ll somehow find their way back to a computer… a sight that drives me bonkers, especially in the warm weather months. Then there’s the hard-headed 5 year old who still needs virtually all the attention. “Boss Baby” will NOT let you forget about him.
My morning routine becomes my lifeline in the summer months. Waking at five and having some time for a quiet coffee, morning reflection and getting a bit of work done before they descend is essential to my summer survival. I can prepare my calendar for the “modified” list of things to do later in the day, but most importantly, it allows me to mentally prepare for the craziness that’s about to ensue when the boy-bickering begins at sunrise.
Let’s face it… I’m coming to the end of this parenting of littles phase. I always describe it as the last half of mile of the marathon. Although I fully appreciate the many DIFFERENT types of challenges that will come in the teens and twenties, I understand my limitations as this tired 44 year old mom of four boys. I know and acknowledge that “the days are long but the years are short.” I love my boys dearly, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not counting down. Until the relief of a school day makes me a WAY better mom. And that’s when I am able to officially start missing summer.