One more week until the kids go back to school. One more week of kid summer, and then the routine starts again. If you had asked me in May, I would have said that I was counting down the days, but now I'm feeling a little differently about it.
We have had a good summer full of playing and ice cream (sorbet for Dallas) and friends and family. We haven't had enough time at the pool: thanks for that Mother Nature. We have laughed a lot, and the kids, being kids, have fought a lot. They're ready to get back to school to see old friends and have a chance to miss each other.
Oddly enough, I'm not ready, and my reasons are selfish. My kids are fascinating creatures, if I do say so myself. I learn something new from them every day. I'm not quite ready to let go of that. They say and do funny things, and I never quite know what will come out of their mouths. Routine is good, but it will take them a while to get used to being in bed early, getting up early, and being gone all day.
This year will be the first year that both kids will be gone all day. Lottie is going to be in first grade, and Dallas is going to the full-day preschool program at Montessori. He'll be gone from 8:00 AM to 2:45 PM; Lottie's bus picks her up at 8:10 AM and drops her off at 3:30 PM. For those of you doing the math, that means I will have six hours and thirty-five minutes alone each day during the week. Three hundred and ninety-five minutes. Holy cow.
Every since Lottie was born, I have been a stay-at-home-mom. My recent life has been devoted to caring for my family and making a nice home for them. I have been a teacher, nurse, chauffeur, chef, playmate, disciplinarian, and soother. With my kids out of the house, I'm struggling a little to define my role. Obviously I will always be a mom and take care of our home, but for those three hundred and ninety-five minutes, who am I?
I will definitely be busy; there's no doubt about that. I'll continue to volunteer at Dallas's school once a week to help kids polish their reading skills. I have great plans to go scorched earth on this house so I can get rid of the clutter and junk we seem to have collected in a year. I fantasize about parking a dumpster in the driveway for a month. I'll keep exercising every day, maybe have the occasional lunch date, take a class at the Y, and perhaps even read a book in the middle of the day. However, after defining myself as a mom for the last six and a half years, I'm not sure how that definition changes next Thursday when both kids are in the hands of their capable teachers. First world problems, huh?
So it begins. A fresh new school year for the kids, and perhaps some fresh, new activities and insights for me. It's going to be a good year.