Friday, September 5

Back to School: The Happy, Sad Dance

Ah, the end of summer vacation. It comes with so many mixed emotions doesn't it?! 

I know some "I'm SOOO happy my kids are back in school...I couldn't take this ONE MORE MINUTE!" moms.

I'm not exactly one of them (or maybe feel too guilty to admit that sometimes I might feel that way just a little bit more than I expected to!)

There are also the "I'm SOOO sad that my kids are back in school" moms who seem to love every minute of summer vacation with a house full of crazy kiddos, and almost thrive on the chaos. 

I'm not one of those moms either. For sure. 

I'm a somewhere in the middle mom. I'm doing the happy and sad dance. Admittedly I'm enjoying some extra moments of quiet, but I'm also wondering how the time went quite so fast and how the girls got quite so big without my permission. 

I was walking around the house yesterday afternoon...a very quiet house...and this thought went through my head, "Whoa, it's a whole new world!"  and "Whoa, it feels weird to hear myself think again." 

The two big girls started school on Wednesday (kindergarten and 2nd grade) and it feels like a whole new world. Of course I still have little Miss Aubrey at home with me, which I am super thankful for because I'm not ready for a completely quiet house all day long. She naps for several hours and this is the first time that I've had just one child at home who takes a long nap, allowing me time to...gasp...find my thoughts and get some laundry put away.

You might think I'm joking about finding my thoughts, or if you know me well enough, you're laughing because you know I've lost them and have been searching high and low for their whereabouts. But I'm completely serious. At one point this summer I clearly thought to myself, (during a very brief moment that I had to think), "Whoa, so this is what people mean when they say they've lost their minds."

I used to just think that was a funny expression of speech.

Now I realize that it is a phrase most likely coined by a mom at the end of a summer vacation.

It comes out of nowhere, after several strings of weeks where you are going from morning to night trying to feed everyone, keep them from fighting, make them pick up after themselves and provide some low key activities to do out of the house, just for distraction sake.

It is then that a thought like this goes through your mind..."Goodness, gracious, I don't know where my keys are, what meal we just ate, where the bottom to Aubrey's or the top to Ava's bathing suits are, what day it is, or where that birthday card got off too that I had really good intentions of mailing to my good friend...Shoot, the Goodwill is still in the car from three weeks ago?! Did I really just pick up 17 things from the grocery store and forget to buy the milk and diapers that I actually went in for?! Wow, I've lost my mind."

And then someone starts screaming like they've been horribly wounded, only to find out that they stubbed their toe and the baby is on top of the patio table in the back yard.

And that's the end of that thought.

Ha...Such is life with kids.

I jokingly mentioned on Facebook on Tuesday night that I needed a t-shirt that says, "I Survived Summer Vacation!" to don once the girls got on the bus on Wednesday morning (I'm still thinking I should have one designed and printed for next year).

Nonetheless, it was a crazy, busy summer full of fun moments that required an exorbitant amount of energy on the part of the momma person. It was a 'drinking from the fire hose' (to coin a phrase I used in my last post, from a wiser older momma friend) kind of summer. For a while I thought maybe it was just me, still trying to figure out the pace of life with three, though it seems, from the friends I've  talked to, that many of you have had a similar experience.

So anyhow, the big kids are back in school and it leaves this momma with kind of a little bit happy/little bit sad sort of feeling. While a sense of relief comes with the reintroduction of order, there is a sadness that all of the summer fun is over. There is also some sadness because they've gotten so big, so fast. Big enough to be off to school and to have swiftly moved past stages (like princess dresses) that I thought would last forever.

But grateful for the chance to reorganize the house just a little bit and get some laundry done, before they're all home in the late afternoon. Grateful for the chance to write a blog post or two. Grateful for the chance to recover some of my scattered brain and catch my breath.

I jokingly told Scott on the night before school started that it felt like I had reached the end of a marathon and when I returned back to the house after the race, a hurricane had blown through and upended all of our belongings, scattering them here there and everywhere!

"Yup. That feels about right," he said.

Here's to reordering, taking a deep breath and finding my lost mind.

Here's to accepting the ages and stages, as furiously and quickly as they seem to come and go, and to being as present as possible to the new adventures, and moments for all that they are.


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