Six weeks into summer break and only one thing is certain. I have developed quite the Love/Hate relationship with summer.
I’m sitting here, at my computer, still in my pajamas, sipping a leisurely second cup of tea. The kids, having just spent a fun hour crafting beads, are now strapping on their brand new (thank you Grandma!) roller blades and pads so they can “practice” skating around the living room.
It’s almost 11am.
This is very much how every morning has gone since school let out back in May.
The kids wake up and have breakfast with M. They turn on the TV and watch their allotted two TV shows of the day while I snooze away with the puppy by my side. When I roll out of bed they move on to whatever activity catches their fancy that day – dolls, legos, crafting, reading, swinging on the new backyard swing. For the most part they let me have breakfast in peace and when I’m done, they let me move to the office to get some work done.
At some point mid-morning we all get dressed and figure out our plan for the day. Swimming, errands, lunch out, playdate with friends… We’ve done it all.
It has, so far, been absolutely lovely. Exactly the kind of summer I wanted the kids to have.
Lots of down-time. Lots of room for imaginative play. Lots of room even for boredom.
Throw in the fact that it has been unseasonably warm for a Northern California summer, and you pretty much have a recipe for the perfect summer.
Knowing all that, you might wonder, why, with three weeks to go before the start of school, I’m starting to chafe a little under all this summer togetherness.
I mean, clearly, the kids are giving me plenty of space.
I haven’t really been alone for more than a few minutes at a time since May. I haven’t been able to change plans midway just because I feel like it. I haven’t felt unwatched in weeks.
I know that there are moms everywhere who live like this year-round. They have toddlers, or they home school. Their kids are always around and they’re laughing at me now. And I get that. I mean, duh, what am I really complaining about here? That my delightful kids are home with me? Oh please. It’s pathetic.
No, what I’m really complaining about is the loss of my routine.
In the noise and the chaos I’m struggling to find myself. I can’t focus on the words. I can’t figure out what I need to do. And at the end of the day, I can’t pinpoint exactly what I’ve accomplished, but I’m way too tired to even try to do anything after they go to bed.
In three weeks I’ll have to get up at a regular time again. Have to get dressed and face the world probably before I even have my first cup of tea. I’ll have to keep my eye on the clock, stay organized and on top of the laundry and the food shopping. I’ll lose the ability to just wing the day, see where it takes us.
But I’ll get the quiet and the structure back.
See? Love/Hate. There’s just no winning, is there?