Yep - tomorrow I go back to work full time.
I'm a stay at home mom - but my kiddos are all school-aged. So, for six hours (I know you remember those six glorious hours I referenced earlier) they are at our local elementary school learning all sorts of great stuff to turn them into productive members of society. Or that's the thought, anyway.
Tomorrow is the last day of school. Tomorrow, the kids go to school long enough to take attendance, eat doughnuts and drink juice with their teacher, watch a Disney flick, sign some yearbooks and have the buses turn around for the return trip home. My children will leave home at 8:22 and return at 11:22. Tomorrow, is the day I go back to work full-time and my "vacation" (as my neighbor at Bows & Beaus calls it) is over.
This year I am both excited by the end of the school and understand the full implications of what lies ahead. When my kids were preschoolers, July was the same as October. No school all the time. Activities were based on Mom's interest/energy level. Those days are no more. Last year I was faced with the daily, "so what are we going to do today, Mom?" To which I often responded, "Well, I'm going to clean the bathrooms and do some laundry," as I handed them the Clorox wipes so they could help.
This year, with everyone a year older, wiser, and more mature (me included), I am anticipating things to go a bit differently. Don't ruin it for me if you know better. My oldest is really into his new iTouch and I anticipate this summer he will always need "one more app." My Darling Daughter is the crafty girl. If I keep her in pom poms, felt, beads, Shrinky Dinks, and the like, I'll be okay. My middle son, he's the one that will keep me hopping. He really needs to stay engaged in activity. And lots of it! Finding things for him to do that still satisfy the needs of my others, well, therein lies the challenge.
Feeding my growing brood is what really has me daunted this summer. My boys are beginning to eat me out of house and home and it will only become more extreme. I'm a little anxious about living in the kitchen this summer. I may resort to posting meals and hours and actually closing the kitchen. We'll see if I come to that. I do plan on having my kids make their own lunches this summer - in practice for taking over that duty in the fall. Devious? Yes, I know. And do you know where I got that idea - another brilliant mom!
As I countdown the hours to vacation being over, I realize I no longer have to get in the water at the pool and can lounge and read if I want (or chat with a friend). I realize I'm no longer carrying a child around when we have outings. I realize everyone can go to the bathroom before we head out the door by themselves and can buckle-up without assistance. Life is good - and this summer's going to be a good one.
Vacation over? I may actually be entering a new stage of motherhood. Only time will tell. Stay tuned ...
In the meantime, I encourage you to look at your summer with your kids through new eyes - full of possibility and potential ... before it's ruined with the "I'm bored," whine.