I think I need to start this post off with an apology. You see, in the very beginning, when my son was just a toddler and spent every waking and sleeping moment of his life by my side, I judged you. You moms that, right around this time of year, would complain constantly of your kids being out of school. “I’m SOOOOO ready for them to go back to school.” “I’m done.” “I’m SO over Summer.” And the ever-so-popular: “I need to get back to my routine.” Ugh. I thought you were all terrible mothers and I was almost sure CPS would be visiting your home soon for one reason or another. You see it’s hard for “Before School” moms to relate to “My Kids are in School Moms” for many reasons. One of them being that we don’t know any other way of life. Our children are draped across us at all hours of every day and every night, and to say that we were sick of it, well, that would be like saying we’re sick of being a mom. But then, even though it seems like it will never happen, it happens. Your kids start school. They leave you. And like the wise-beyond-her-years Taylor Swift puts it, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way. It’s miserable and magical.” You start having time to workout, shower, and do all sorts of things: BY. YOUR. SELF. I have to confess, at first, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Literally. I think the first week Caden was in school I sat tentatively on the edge of our sofa, my hands nervously clasped in my lap, checking the time, just waiting to pick him up. It was so foreign & so awkward being alone. Without him. But slowly, I ventured out. Oh not very far of course, the school could call me at any moment and I needed to be there at the drop of a hat. You know, just in case. But like a small animal exploring it’s new territory, every day I went a little bit further. At first, only doing the necessities. Workout. Shower. Fold clothes. Pick up. That was my routine. And I would have been blissfully happy there, till they introduce you to something called FULL DAY. And hold on ladies, because it will blow your mind. No longer was I relegated to just 1 zip code or just the perfunctory duties of wife & motherhood. Oh no. There are things called lunch with friends, manicures, and wait for it . . . shopping. Wait, just one more time because that felt so good: Shopping. For clothes. Pretty clothes. Even if you don’t have a penny to your name. Even if it’s just walking through Anthropolgie smelling the pretty smells and and trying things on you know you’ll never buy, it’s shopping. And it’s fun. Really fun.
Then the school year finally comes to an end, and trust me, you’re actually ready for it. You anticipate Summer and all it has to offer: Sandcastles, vacation, ice cream, tide pools, night swimming, the whole lot of it. June passes quickly, then July, and everyone is blissful and tan and happy and skinny because you’ve been at the gym all year prepping for this . . . And it’s truly wonderful. Then August rolls comes. Then Mid-August rolls around. Now early August is different from mid August mind you because sleeping in and chocolate for breakfast at 11:30, and TV are all still a novelty. But there’s something that happens by August 15ish. Something goes wrong. Terribly wrong. The theme show of every child television show annoys you to the point of delirium. You’re sick of ice cream. Your thighs are constantly rubbing together in your cute shorts you’ve been dying to wear and they’re always sweating. Putting on anymore sunscreen, to yourself, or a small child seems like torture. Quite frankly, Summer’s lost it’s luster. We’re fried. And hold on to your hats, because I don’t care how care free, DR. Sears attached, sleepwithyourchild nursetilltheirfive type of mom you are, you’re ready for school to start. Plain and simple. Note: **Insert apology here** And it’s not that you’re sick of being with your beloved child, it’s that they’re sick of being with us. Let’s face it, everyone is sick of being with everyone. Husbands, wives, kids, pets. Everyone. I’m convinced, although not safe, the only way to solve this is by putting every family member on a separate plane, to a separate destination, and have their own vacation, from each other.
But wait, before you start fist pumping and cheering for the school bells to ring, here’s another epiphany: Alarm clocks. That’s right. Because it’s what every “My kid’s in School Mom” forgets just like labor pains: September is brutal. I mean like really brutal. Consider this: Our television set has not been turned off for the entire month of August. The only time the iPad is not in our hands is when it’s charging. The worksheets I printed out for my son to do before TV time are laughable. Like, we both laugh when I suggest it. Our brains, they’re like mush right now. Caden told me the other day that he was too tiered for Ceramics Camp. Now, ceramics camp consists of ONE hour ONE day a week shaping clay. And you know what, I backed him up and said I was too tiered to drive. And now I’m going to have to get up and make it to school by 8:15?!?! Let me put it this way, If there was a fire, tornado, and hurricane heading for our house at the same time, I still couldn’t leave my house by 10am. At least not with my teeth brushed and a bra on, which at my age are both non negotiable. And not only do I have to get there on time, I have to make sure everyone has dry socks and clean underwear. I can’t even imagine. Cannot. Imagine. Oh wait, still longing for school to start? Two words for you: Packing Lunches. That’s right. The bane of every mother’s existence. Because next to birthing your child, packing lunches is the next hardest part of motherhood. And I don’t care how many new & fun lunch ideas you have Pinned on your Pinterest Board that involve hummus and pinwheels, they’re still going to come back uneaten and smooched together and we’re still going to be cleaning it out of the cracks and zippers of our kid’s BPA free lunch sacks.
So what was the purpose of this post if not to commiserate in summertime “friedness”? It’s to rally. We’re almost there moms, and there may not even be that much prettier, well at least not at first. I guess what I’m trying to say is, let’s maybe try to enjoy what’s left it. One more beach day. One more play date. One more bowl of ice cream. We can do this. Because, in the end, when we’re screaming like lunitics at 7 in the morning for the kids to put on their shoes for the sixteenth time, we’re going to miss all of, well. . . .this. Where we are .Right now.