I have three kids. Three. All three have been with me all summer, all day long. Let that sink in, people. All…day…long. And when I say, all day long, I’m talking 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. That, my friends is a long day. A long day as it is, mind you, but add in three kids with three different personalities, hobbies, and interests, and it makes for a very, very long day, and even longer summer.
Yes, I do get the occasional break for a few hours to run my boutique, but for the most part, I’m with them. And oh yes, I chose this. It will be fun, I thought. Having time off with the kids all summer, I thought. I’ll lay by the pool while they swim, get myself a nice little tan. I’ll bring out watermelon balls and evenly cut up cantaloupe. It will be just lovely having this time with them – because, you know…they grow so fast.
And after day 3 of summer vacation, reality set in. There was no lying by the pool, relaxing. No. It was “stop splashing me!” and “He pushed me in!” It was “I don’t like cantaloupe. I want good snacks. More snacks. Snacks, snacks, snacks!” And it’s super fun when they chant all at once.
My summer vacation became listening to an endless, and I mean, endless, discussion of MineCraft, Fortnite and all things video gaming. It was peppered with me pleading for them to go outside and breathe in the fresh air, only to be met with, “but it’s too hot!” Too hot? Too hot? What are you, 90? Get outside and play in the grass – get dirty – build a fort – do something. We have a pool – go swimming. We have an acre of land – go exploring. But for God’s sake, do something other than sit around in your pajamas all day being slugs.
I won’t miss all the complaining. I won’t miss the constant, insatiable appetites. I won’t miss the smell of the boys, after building a fire in the fire pit. I won’t miss hearing, “I’m bored!” two thousand times before 9 a.m.
I won’t miss wet footprints from the back door, through the kitchen, and into the bathroom, as the kids get changed out of their bathing suits. No matter how many times I ask them to dry off before they come in. Because taking a header in the kitchen is just not as fun at 50 years old. Things break. Things crack.
Another thing I won’t miss; the never-ending sleepovers, that all of my kids asked to have, not just once or twice, but many, many times. I already have 3 kids – why on God’s green earth, would I want more? Because if you have a sleepover for one, you have to have one for the others. It’s just the fair thing to do, right? No, not it’s not. It’s torture. It’s kids – everywhere kids – it’s cleaning up playrooms, hanging up constantly wet towels, wiping crumbs from in between the sofa cushions. And the smell, my God, the smell.
But alas…in just a few days, I’ll have three kids in three different schools on three different buses. It will be back to routine and order. It will be back to preparing lunches the night before, making sure they get to bed early, eat a good breakfast, and getting them out the door by 6:30 a.m., 6:40 and 8:30 a.m.
At 8:35 a.m. I will walk back from the bus stop to the house. I’ll walk down the long driveway, open the door, and hear…nothing. I’ll hear nothing. The house will be quiet.
I know, I know…I should say how much I’ll miss the kids. That’s what a good mom would do right? A good mom would say how empty the house becomes when they go back to school. A good mom would…
But you know what? I am looking forward to that quiet house. I’m looking forward to having a hot cup of coffee. And it doesn’t make me a bad mom to say that. It makes me a real mom. A mom who loves her kids like crazy, but needs them gone for 6 hours a day so she can keep her sanity.
Give me time, I’m sure you’ll read another post about how much I miss the kids.
But for now, I’m counting down the days until the new school year begins.
Who’s with me?