Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back at it

The kids are back in school.

And while one half of me is overly sensitive, sad for a variety of reasons... the other half is jumping off the couch doing cartwheels, high fiving the silent air, shortly after the big yellow bus pops over the hill and swallows them up.

Time marches it or not, seemingly quicker every year.

What's that saying?  "Live for today, because you'll never get yesterday back, and tommorow is not guaranteed"  or something profound like that.

It seems I blinked, we camped, and summer is over.

As this new school year begins,  I am keenly aware of how quickly the kids are growing up. Ellery is starting pre-school, we have 2 middle schoolers, and I can count on one hand how many summers will be left with Austin before he is out of high school. Wasn't I just overwhelmed because we were juggling 3 kids not sleeping through the night?

And as soon as they head back, my sensitive side begins to over- analyze our little 8 week respite. Did I love them enough?  Use the opportunity of unhurried time together to teach them life skills?  Make the most of every day that I had with them?  Did I yell too much and inadvertently tune them out too often?  Did we have enough genuine, quality, "we'll still be talking about this in 15 years", kind of memory making fun?

Gah! We never made it to the airport viewing area, or the library, or to Chicago by train....and the structured chore charts went out the window sometime mid July.  My shameful list of summer fails is a doozy.

And well, now that school is in, papers are being thrown at me faster than I can read and sign, football practices run late, mornings are early, dinner is hasty, we are rushed, and the struggle to cherish all these snappy moments is creeping back in.

Sometimes I think I put too much pressure on myself.

On the flip side...back to school is an audible exhale.

It means not breaking up fights at 10 am, because someone was chewing too loudly... or looking at somebody funny.... or making weird noises.  It means not tattling all day, or running laps around my kitchen tackling each other shrieking until it ends up in tears and something broken every.singe.time. It means not trying to be/help/listen/entertain 5 unique individuals at the same time for 13 hours straight. It's a break.

And let's be honest, there's absolutely no time to be bored now.

Back to school means routine, a new beginning,  brand new crayons and folders, bible study, a bedtime, a feeling like I can get on top of things by day that I've neglected since I gave up after last Spring Break.  Deep down I do crave structure, and some "quieter"  time. (With the big kids gone, Ellery hasn't let one single moment of silence go to waste, or opportunity to play Memory with me 4 times in a row. Love her.)

It's all so bittersweet, but move forward we must.

My prayer is that I cherish these moments.  Even if that means doing homework in the van at 7:34pm on a Tuesday amidst the sounds of little girls singing along to the tv and the smell of over processed food lingering.

And grace.  May I extend love and uderstanding when the kids can't handle these snappy moments either.

Enough of my ramblings, the 2014-15 back to school pic.  7th, 6th, 4th, 1st, and 1 soon to be happy little pre-schooler this year.

And if pics could speak?  A much searched for Patriots t-shirt, an Elsa braid, a buzz cut and athletic shorts that both stay up, and come down to his knees,  a new skirt "that's cute, and long, and matches my dog shirt"  and a princess dress.

Love 'em

And hey, maybe soon I will make the time to blog about our summer :)