Thoughts on the Last Day of Summer

{written August 31, 2015}

Tomorrow my oldest starts first grade. Part of me wonders where the summer went… But the other part remembers last fall, and “the order of things” and how every September seems to represent that constant change that comes with parenthood. Mostly I’m wondering how I’m going to get any sleep tonight.

Every year they grow a little more, learn a lot more, make a few more friends and get more independent. Every year seems to take them farther away from me. I know this is said “order of things.” But it makes my mama heart ache just a little, even while it bursts with pride as my child walks confidently into school, greeted by his many friends, flashing that adorable signature crooked smile he got from his daddy.

In June I was terrified. My kindergartener had spent the majority of his waking hours away from me for the past 9 months. He picked up phrases, mannerisms and behaviors that weren’t learned from me. How would I relate to him now? Can I still spell things I don’t want him to know about? How will I tame the tempest that is child 1 vs. child 2? Would we all claw each other to death in that first week or two of summer break? Would the togetherness stifle us and drive us all mad?

Well, none of that happened. My fears, as usual, were largely unfounded. We made it our mission in life to expend energy so we made the beach and the new pool our besties and visited whenever possible, then called upon our old friend NAP TIME a couple times a week to sweep them ALL away and preserve all our sanity. God was even so good as to give me glimpses of blissful screen-free imaginative & cooperative play, and the opportunity to eavesdrop on at least one lengthy conversation about dinosaurs’ names and whether they ate meat or plants.

Of course now, on the eve of the first day of school (which feels surreal, even now)… I look around my house and think, yep this is the result of 3 months of “survival mode.” Meal planning on the fly and sand everywhere and a load of beach towels laundered every day and water fights and sword fights and gun fights and wrestling matches and blanket forts and basement picnics … And the house looks like that tempest I feared so much did indeed hit.

So now the project list that was barely touched this summer takes over. So maybe if I’m distracted enough that ache in my mama heart won’t be so painful. Or maybe my list of purging and the throwing out toys from younger years will just make it ache that much more as I’m missing my babies…

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