Everyone I know is bemoaning the end of Summer. The kids don’t want to go back to school, teachers don’t want to return to work, and moms are complaining about having a steady routine again and the challenges associated with taxing kids around to various after-school activities. Plus, NO ONE wants to even think about the inevitable snow and cold to come.
I, on the other hand, can’t WAIT for school to begin! I’ve done my duty as social director, making playdates, driving kids (both my own and their friends) around. I’ve happily hosted and attended my fair share of barbeques. I’ve packed and unpacked for the pool, beach, theme parks, and a cross-country vacation. I’ve washed bathing suits and laundered loads of towels. During yesterday’s trip back from the Shore, my son understood my silence as he explained to his little sister, “Mom loves us, but she’s done.”
Too much familial togetherness and free time combined with the awareness of the fleeting Summer along with the pressure to make every minute “fun” has taken its toll. The kids are fighting with each other, with me, and with their father. Fatigued by the long Summer break, I am getting testy (or testier than usual, as my children would say).
As much as I love them, the kids NEED school. They subconsciously demand the stimulation only teachers and coaches can provide. They need to be away from video screens for more than a few hours. Their bodies crave exercise. Psychologically, they have missed the comfort of a set schedule that lasts more than the few weeks camp provided. They need to grow.
Similarly, I need my space. I’ve missed my “momcations” in which I go down the Shore, for just a few hours, to read and walk on the beach. I want the freedom to clean the house without it immediately becoming littered with juice boxes and protein bar wrappers. I have things to do, tasks that require more than just a few seconds before the next wailing of “MOM!” comes screeching up the stairs. I must concentrate in order to write and that concentration is hard to come by when children are bouncing around.
Yes, I love them. Yes, I cherish them. I am profoundly aware that my time with Diva and Junior is slipping away. As the boy starts high school in a few weeks, I understand that soon, all I’ll see of him is when he comes home for breaks from college. I am in touch with them now in a way I will not be in a few weeks. But such is life.
Fall is when they grow. Fall is also when I grow. When I can connect, over coffee, with women who were, like me, busy over the Summer. Soon the weather will be cool and I can resume walking around the neighborhood. Hopefully, I can drop the pounds I gained during the warmer weather and, if not, can hide them under snuggly sweaters.
I’m done. The time to begin again is here. It’s better for us all.