When we are nearing the end of summer, a lot of stay at home moms, including myself, start to feel September lurking upon us. We have spent months trying to keep everyone busy. Enjoying our time with our kids, but starting to feel the yearning for school at the same time. Routine. For both the kids and US. I'm really not very good at keeping to a routine in the summer. I admit it. I always have really great intentions, but it never happens. I try think about tutoring for Daniel, then I see his delight at having the summer to ride bikes, go to the pool and relax and I think, "he's earned it" and I don't follow through. It happens every year. Yet every year I fool myself once again.
What also happens every year is I think school will start and I'll feel relaxed. It never happens. I end up so busy, despite having the kids gone from 8 - 4 (by the time buses deliver everyone) that I find myself wishing for the lazy days of summer again. How could I have been so foolish to think I wouldn't be busy? When will I ever learn?
Besides my endless lists during the day, the nights turn crazy. Last night my husband had is third night meeting in a row. I'm on my own. I know a lot of parents are on their own every single day, but we pretty much plan our lives thinking that there will be two of us to handle it all. I found myself feeding the kids McDonald's and bringing my "Bacon Ranch" salad with me to Zachary's flag football practice, Daniel brought his Nintendo DS and we hung out in the car for an hour. Once I got home I realized I had made a huge mistake in not checking backpacks before leaving. It was 7:45 and there was a lot to do. I had already told Daniel he would need to practice his baritone. He is supposed to practice at least 4 times a week for 15 minutes. It doesn't sound like a lot but we are finding it very difficult to fit in. Mostly because you usually have to sit with him and push push push or it won't get done. Last night Zachary had to write sweepstakes questions for school which includes writing a question from newspapers, or these Time for Kids that they get from school. Three questions, one about local/state, one national and one international. With his sincere questions after reading each article, trying to understand the workings of health care reform and the effect of incandescent light bulbs on the environment, it isn't a quick assignment. (he's in 4th grade). Because of these sweepstakes questions our dinner conversation has switched from SpongeBob to "did you know that Meridian Township is having budget problems, they basically have three options....." Did I mention he's in fourth grade?
As we were reading the articles for homework I told Daniel he was on his own for baritone. He needed to play each of his songs one time. I know from previous practice that takes him almost exactly 15 minutes. I told him I'd be listening from the kitchen. He asked if he should "keep his door open so I could hear him better?" Um, no Daniel, I can here your gigantic brass instrument just fine. In fact, with our paper thin windows I'm sure that most of our neighborhood can hear him. (Sorry everyone )Daniel had a math quiz we needed to review for. Showers needed to happen, Zachary was insisting on working on his Michigan map project due October 9th (I really don't know how we have raised such a task master of a 9 year old) and the whole evening was spiraling later and later. Daniel was very proud of himself for practicing on his own. It took us two years to get to this point, but I think our busy evening forced that issue. Now we have a new routine, involving less help by a parent, which is the positive thing that comes out of craziness. It forces them to be more independent. They have to be. There was no other choice.
As I came out of Daniel's room and the last light was turned out, the house was quiet. Todd strolled in the door from his meeting kissed the still awake children good night, was the hero for being there before they went to sleep and asked what I'd been up to....To this I could only roll my eyes at him and say A LOT. Today I am going to email Daniel's speech teacher from when he was in 4th grade and kiss her feet because when Daniel was in 4th grade she did his sweepstakes questions with him. All I could think about was how thankful that I was that she took that off of my plate for a year.
The school year is upon us. I'm meeting the school for Daniel's re-evaluation, going to my own committee meetings, juggling homework, sports and instruments, pleading with transportation at school to maybe bend just a little bit, preparing for a garage sale, trying to keep the house fairly clean and people fed and feel like I'm barely holding my head above water. And next week I have jury duty....fantastic.
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