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Friday, August 15, 2014

If Your Summer Hasn't Been Picture Perfect


School began for our family this week and I thought I wasn't quite ready for the transition back to schedules and homework, extra activities and calendar crunching.  I thought I wasn't ready, but it turns out, I was!  I enjoyed our summer and I'm listing the highlights for my own sake:
  • Our first blended family vacation
  • A week-long, cross-country trip to grandma's house including "Cousin Camp"
  • Several serious hikes and our usual trip to the mountains - this continuous to be a highlight for us
  • In introduction to the theatre by watching a children's performance of Disney's Alladin
  • Boy Scout and Kids Church Camp
  • Learning to bike ride without training wheels
  • First jobs and candy striper volunteering
  • Our anniversary!
  • College Girlfriend Reunion - our annual time together is a treasure
  • The boys quit sharing a bed and each have their own
These are all wonderful, treasured memories.  It's been a sweet season for me and I was sorry to see it end.  Still, the return to routine reminded me that not every memory was a favorite:

Tired, whiny and hot.
  • There was that evening at the restaurant on our vacation where my children acted so poorly, ate so rudely and I was thoroughly embarrassed in front of my in-laws.  I seriously wondered if my husband would decide we were just too much chaos and be done!
  • All three children were together so constantly every single day this summer that the squabbling and competition have been at record levels for the past month.  This drives mom to insane levels of irritation!
  • The brain work and educational material I planned remained on the shelf all summer long.  We did lots of reading, but never turned in our time to the library for the reading club prizes.  Mommy failure.
  • All that hiking and I've twisted my second (good) ankle.  And I am nursing plantar fasciitis.  And I can't wear heels right now which makes me feel frumpy.  Way frumpy.
  • Our summer babysitter was fabulous, but our savings is depleted from the new line-item in the budget. I'm so glad all three of mine are back in school with no tuition or childcare costs.  How bad is it that I don't want to pay others to care for my kiddos?
  • High schoolers have summer homework - hard stuff like writing essays and math!
  • That new bike rider, wiped out hard on a couple of occasions.
This was taken at that very same dinner where I thought, "Surely, only blood-family could deal with our mess."
There are even more highs and lows than I have mentioned.  We were eager and ready when students began lining up for classes this Monday.  There were no tears at drop-off this year and each child happily greeted friends.  I waved at fellow moms as we sent our children into classrooms to do their thing independently.  I'm proud of them.  I'm happy for them.  I love them and know them more than ever.  It was a good summer, but I'm thankful for the routine and diversity of our school year.  

Do you have ones going back to school?  Do you see the treasures and the disasters of your own summer break?  How are you feeling about the changing seasons of parenting and of life?

Ooops, mommy tried to save money
and make the hand-me-downs work!