Last night, the one before the kids went back to school, my husband asked, “Is this like Christmas Eve for you?” He's referring to the fact that I recently wrote about how I am DONE with Summer Vacation (to visit that post on Jersey Moms Blog, click here). I love my children, but I need to get stuff done without hearing, “MOM!” every time I sit down to do something.
No, last night was not like Christmas Eve. As anyone with school-age children knows, there's a lot of prep work to get kids ready for their first day. There are lunches to pack, snacks to prepare, forms which need to be filled out and placed in backpacks, supplies to send, etc. And, of course, Junior, who is starting high school, realized at the 11th hour that he needed to get his 3-ring binder in order. Then I needed to make sure both kids were showered and had their clothes ready for the early-morning wake-up call.
After all that was done and everyone, including hubby, was asleep, I could not. Like a movie, every time I closed my eyes, I saw my kids, at various ages, flash before my eyes. I watched my son, who every day gets closer to leaving the nest, progress from kindergarten up to 9th grade. I saw my daughter standing on the blacktop as Junior stood in line for first grade. Then I viewed her progress through pre-school up to 3rd grade. Like an hourglass, I could feel the sands of time slipping through my fingers.
As I went downstairs to escape the movie playing in my head, I felt guilty. I've done quite a bit of complaining about the kids this Summer. I've played social director, taxi, maid, referee, tour guide, laundress, and many other roles throughout the hot months. I've honestly tried to give them a good vacation, despite their reluctance to go anywhere that would take them away from either a computer or television screen. I reviewed schoolwork with Lily (who has asked that she not be called Diva in any of my blogs anymore) to keep her sharp and encouraged Junior to keep up with his clarinet playing. And I did all that while trying to stay within our budget. Still, since my husband works late and I'm essentially a single mom during the week, I was stretched to my limit. I yelled waaaay too much, explaining to the kids how frustrated I was. As good as I was, I feel I could have been better. Wracked with so many thoughts, sleep did not come for more than 2 hours.
After getting them to school this morning, I thought I would miss them, but was so busy during the day that I barely did. People often wonder what I do during the day with both kids in school. Plenty! My house has many, many projects I could not do with kids underfoot. It, along with my sadly-neglected car, needs a thorough cleaning. Closets need to be organized, toys must be purged, the garage needs organizing, I'm woefully behind with scrapbooking, and there's so much writing to do since I write for four blogs.
Today, after they came home, there was a mountain of paperwork to be signed and initialed. Lily has gymnastics, dinner has to be made, and things made ready for the morning. Of course, Junior just handed me a list of supplies he needs by tomorrow, so I've got to figure out which store I'll visit tonight that won't have me waiting on line at the register for more than an hour.
Last night lacked the anticipation of Christmas Eve. But it did hold religious meaning. I am eternally grateful to The Almighty for giving me these children, these miraculous human beings who make my life so rich and drive me crazy in the process. They make me happy in ways I never could have imagined. Now, their growing gives me time to get things done I could not while they were here.
Thanks for reading!