I’ve lost my mind. It’s official. Prepare the rubber room. Put some extra fabric softener in when you wash my straightjacket. I’m ready to be institutionalized. It finally happened. Traditionally, the day before school starts has been the one day of the year I was guaranteed to be in a good mood. But, today, I was mopey. We went to the zoo to check our last to-do off our summer to-do list. I was depressed the entire time. Even the elephants couldn’t cheer me up, and they are my favorite zoo animal. That’s when I knew things were bad. Then it hit me. I’m actually sad that the summer is over and that the little buggers (who, incidentally, have been driving me crazy for the past two weeks with their non-stop bickering) are leaving me. Sniff.
No more sleeping in. No more schedule-less days. No more field trips. No more late nights. No more days at the pool. I’m back to volunteering, making lunches, chauffeuring, and early mornings. And, while all that is fine and good and part of my career as Mom, right now I’m sad because I am going to miss my little monkeys. The house is going to seem quiet. I’m not going to have anyone nearby with whom to share my flippant remarks, which means I’m going to be talking to myself a lot again. I never thought I’d see the day when the thought of a tranquil, silent house would vex my introverted soul. A mere couple weeks ago I was dancing in the back-to-school aisle at Target. Yet, today I’m mourning the end of summer and the loss of precious time with my awesome sons. I’m not sure what’s happening to me. Curiouser and curiouser.
I suppose that if there’s a silver lining here, it’s that the years as they’ve been growing older have been flying by at an ever increasing speed. That means that next summer should be here before I know it. Funny how time and the speed at which she travels is both a blessing and a curse.
“Move slowly now,
These autumn days.”
You’re on the mark.
When you’re standing in the middle of it, it’s sometimes difficult to see, these are some of the finest days of our lives.
To REALLY BE the parent you imagined yourself to be. This is it, the Big Time, when you can shape and mold and nurture these young people as YOU see fit.
Sure, there will be weddings, there will be grandchildren, there will be dog-sitting while they take their wives and children to Disney World.
As we age and our children grow, our circles of life continue to grow larger. Our lives will still be full when they leave the nest, but the “raising-times” are without a doubt the fullest, most complete and visceral parts of our lives. There’s a little bad and oceans-ful of good. It is all-encompassing and overwhelming and fulfilling and tiring and taxing and exhilerating all at the same time every day, day-in and day-out, 365.25 days a year for twenty years. We have no time or energy or need to wonder what our purpose is when it’s standing in front of us threatening to throw up, or crossing that stage to accept a diploma. Enjoy every fun-filled, smelly, sticky, laughter-riddled, worrisome, bright, repetitive, relentless, smile-soaked and love-smothered moment.
Now is the time to paint all the childhood experiences which will one day be referred to as “memories”.
All the best,
Well said, as always, Paz.