This is going to sound awful.
The kids have been away for nearly two weeks and I have oozed into a state of funk. It is not a funk of ‘oh, I miss them so much, when will they return to ME?!’
It is a funk of ‘oh shoot…they’re coming back’. A funk of ‘life’s about to get back to NORMAL, ugh!’
Is this how teachers feel as summer starts packing up to slumber?
I love my kids. Love them.
But I have just had ten days of total bliss. Ten days of living most of my old life as a single gal with minimal responsibilities – a fun, carefree, fly by the seat of my pants gal – with the added bonus of a cohort mixed in.
I didn’t have to run anyone to an appointment. I didn’t have to sign anyone up for any last minute events. I didn’t have to organize any schedules around schedules. I didn’t have to remember to poke anyone awake in the late morning. I didn’t have to figure out any dinners that would satisfy everyone yet not send the food pyramid screaming down the road.
There was no reminding, there were no pick-it-ups, there were no sticky blobs of peanut butter on the counters after the lunch rush, there was no need for mom eyes to locate something sitting right there in plain sight.
Rich has refused to join me in this funk. He’s too busy staring out the door with the dogs, eyeing up every passing car for signs of his well-traveled offspring.
He is Santa Claus to my Mrs. Grinch.
I love my kids.
But I also love a vacation from mom-ming.
This has not been my favorite summer. In summers past, I had two children who wanted to spend everyday doing something (anything!) with me. That number dwindled to one while the other disappeared into her room, yet was still a nice companion during her appearances.
This summer both have completed the ‘holed up in my room’ course of teenaging. They’ve also added studies in Lack of Follow Through and Forgetfulness. Zoe has also shown glimpses of ETA. Entitled Teenage Attitude.
Yes, it’s been a bit hit or miss this summer.
So while Rich is busy making a vision board of all the fun things we’ll do when they return and journaling activity ideas for next week’s family vacation, I’m practicing saying ‘pack your swimsuit’ in seven different languages hoping one will stick. This is followed by preparing a ‘well, you’re going to have to pay for that with your own money’ speech for when someone arrives at the beach without one (please don’t be me).
It’s going to be a quick turnaround. We’ll be a house of four tomorrow for the first time since the end of July. And we’ll be a traveling house of four come Friday. In small quarters, no less, as we make our annual trek to our favorite campground at the beach.
Both kids thrive on quiet time to themselves. And both kids have been surrounded by people since they left, though each had one day in the middle of their adventures for some home time. We’ve got to, somehow, give them a minute to get regrouped, find some quiet time and also get laundered, packed and ready to dive into the next vacation full of people.
As an added bonus, we’re getting all new floors the week after vacation. Which means we also need to have the house packed, as if for a move, before we leave. Double bonus, shouldn’t we also paint our baseboards before we go? Guess what the kids did on that one day of home time during the middle of their adventures?
I’ve recently added to the list of things teens are not super excited about:
- Having the house packed as if for a move
- Scrubbing and painting baseboards
- Doing any of the above for free
Here’s how I know this respite was needed. Bedtime. One of my favorite topics. I have been able to stay up past ten for days now. Days! In fact, a few times, ten o’clock came and went and I was still not propping my eyes open. Solid proof that kids are exhausting.
And while I am sulking a bit about the end of the ease of my current life, I’m also a bit panicked that the arrival home marks the near end of summer. How did we get here already? When we were banging out all these plans and trips, it was so far into the future that it all seemed super reasonable (we overbooked) and far away!
Now we’ve got one more trip and that’s it – Summer 2019, check!
I will be glad to get the band back together. I’m sure the homecoming will be the usual hug-dodging, one word answer from Zoe and the exact opposite from Zack. I’ll reel myself in from passing out to-do lists the second they cross the threshold.
We’ll get pointed in the next direction and spend a week (or at least six hours in the car) getting to know each other again. The sun and surf won’t hurt either.
So is it okay to enjoy some time to myself? Yes. Is that awful? Probably not. Has it been bliss? Yes. I absolutely recommend it if you can do it (heck, take yourself to a hotel for the weekend, mamas. You have permission).
Will it be nice to get back to normal? Or at least as normal as we get? Absolutely.