On the first day of summer vacation we woke up late. (Yes, 6:30 is late.) I made pancakes (not from the box!), omelets (from our backyard flock!) and plenty of coffee (for me, not the kids.) The rest of the day we puttered around, played games, cooked, read, went to the gym and had a leisurely bedtime routine that did not include homework, packing a lunch, or a organizing a backpack. I am actually enjoying summer vacation. That says a lot. A year and a half ago I wouldn’t have felt this way. In fact, I was at a very low point.
I have decided that maybe I am not perfectly suited to being the mother of babies or toddlers. When I think of those years, it reminds me, somehow, of being in high school: always exhausted, completely crazed by hormones, constantly worried and confused, overwhelmed by endless tasks, trapped in a never-ending routine, thrilled by the newness of everything and either madly in love or utterly crushed. I’m grateful for what I experienced and learned as a teenager and then the years with my babies. But I’ll be honest: I NEVER WANT TO DO THOSE THINGS AGAIN. That’s it. I’m happy to be done. I’ll look back on those days fondly but with a disbelieving shake of the head. Because I can’t properly describe how equally awful and amazing it all was. And how, because of that, I am enjoying this time so much more.
That is not to say that life is easy and the kids are well behaved angels all the time, or that I don’t bitch about it. In fact, the reason I am able to write this right now is that they are enjoying “separation hour” alone in their rooms (a vacation routine that keeps us all from killing each other). The second day of summer break was not so idyllic. Unsure of what to do with themselves, and unused to being together all day, they fought. And whined. And fought. And I snapped. And nagged. And snapped. We seem to be reaching some kind of equilibrium now, but it’s tenuous. Still, I’m able to not just make it through the day, but actually enjoy (most) of it. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m getting much more sleep. But classes have helped, as have friends, exercise, hobbies, and way more time off than I ever allowed myself to have before. But it’s also their age. They have turned into to little… people. Funny, smart, kind, happy people that I want to hang out with. This is… well… incredible.
Twenty more minutes until “separation hour” is over. Time to take a nap. Because these awesome little people I love are still freakin exhausting.