I am pretty sure I am one of the most mentally unstable moms out here when it comes to back to school! My emotions are all over the place as THE DAY approaches and summer starts to come to an end. You can see me gritting my teeth as I break up yet another fight over who gets the TV remote. But, in the next second watch me hug the very necks I feel like I am about to wring because suddenly there is a back to school commercial playing in the background. Seriously, what is my problem?!!! I love the routine of school, but I equally HATE the routine of school……
Don’t get me wrong, I love having my kiddos home with me. But don’t misunderstand either, I savor the hours of the day when they are safely at school and I can get groceries, read a book, or have lunch with a friend. I so enjoy the lazy mornings that summer brings. However, there is nothing like crawling back into bed after everyone is on the bus. Pool days with the kids are the best. But, actually getting to sit on my couch with only the noise of the laundry in the background is pretty awesome……well, yeah it is just very, very AWESOME!!! See, I just cannot decide how I feel on the subject of back to school.
I remember the pre-school days. The days that bled into each other as I wandered aimlessly through diaper changes, potty training, bath time, breastfeeding, chasing toddlers (I was and am still outnumbered), and finally the war that was bedtime. Only to wake up (in the middle of the night) to start all over again! Every year as back to school approaches I remember those days more fondly than any sane person should. Every year around September I am reminded that I will never again live those early days over and over and over again. They don’t need me to brush their hair, or dress them. They don’t need me to make sure they don’t fall out of bed anymore, or sit on the floor until they are asleep because they are scared. Every year around this time I get sad.
I remember the first day of school for all three of my babies. I remember watching them put their backpacks on, grab the lunch boxes, and wave at me from the steps of the bus. I can clearly see all three of them getting taller and more beautiful every year. I can see so much of “us” in them (honestly, it makes me a little nervous). I see them make good decisions. I see them make not so good decisions. I see them look out for each other and I see them fight with each other. I see them love each other (even though they don’t like to admit it yet). I watch them become more and more independent. I watch them laugh, pick good friends, and learn to give. I see them becoming who God wants them to be. Every year around this time I get happy.
I don’t think I ever understood the term bittersweet until back to school came around. It is impossible to understand how you can feel so many emotions in one glance. The glance I get to relive every 365 days. The glance that changes a little every year but stays the same in many ways. The glance that causes held back (and sometimes not) tears as the bus pulls away. The glance that embodies everything bittersweet holds.
Now, that I’m full-blown crying (see, I am ALL OVER THE PLACE when it comes to this time of year)….
It’s been a GREAT summer, but I have to come to terms that it’s okay to happy about quiet afternoon or breakfast dates with my husband. I still love my kids. It’s a wonderful thing to sneak in a nap before the chaos that is pick up/homework/debrief the day and sort through the drama that is middle school time! I still love my kids. And it’s equally okay to be sad that your house feels kinda empty during the day when everyone is at school, but it’s kinda awesome too! I still love my kids.
Choosing happy may be hard tomorrow, but I guarantee that at this time next week I am going to wonder what I was so worried about; it’s a vicious cycle this being a mom thing!