By Doula Jen
Hey there Mamas,
Here I am again, feeling the big end of summer feelings, like I do. Like we all do. Like a mom.
It is The Last Day of Summer Break.
I have had my talks with friends about the need for routine, the need for a gasp of air. I have nodded and laughed with this mommy blogger. I have collapsed exhausted at the end of the day—falling asleep at the same time as my kids—after working, writing, swimming, pretending, grilling, and breaking up fights.
Fun has been abundant this summer—fairs and parks and betta fish and friendship bracelets and sleepovers and forts. Sweet, sweet moments and a very loose interpretation of the word routine.
Just last week I channelled one of the Classic Lines From The Book of Mom. “You two are behaving like a pack of wild animals!” To be fair, I was ordering them lunch at Noodles and Company. Nice, right? It’s a treat to go out to lunch, isn’t it? I turn around and—I kid you not—my children were on the floor wrestling, punching, and (oh yes) growling.
My wild animals comment didn’t come immediately. For a good ten seconds I just watched them—perhaps in shock, perhaps end-of-summer numb to the fight-every-five-minutes. The first thing I said was, “Are you kidding me?”
It’s not their fault. Their age/sex difference is an explosive little petrie dish. Add heat, summer boredom, and constant togetherness? I honestly thought (after separating them and paying the clearly clueless and judgmental teenager at Noodles)…it could’ve been worse.
Three weeks ago I was proclaiming that they needed to get back to routine, bed times, homework, focus. I was ready, they were ready. But as this last week of summer fell upon us, I felt this pressing need to squeeze every last bit of fun and frivolity into every waking minute. I’m all of a sudden looking at the summer moments through rose colored glasses. The good times are gleaming and the fist fights at Noodles…I choose to ignore.
Impossible to ignore is the fact that my baby—all of six—has grown half a foot (not exaggerating) and that his body is wiry and pointy instead of round and cherub like. Growing boy, little man.
And my daughter. She—for the first time ever—brushes her own hair without prompting, makes herself a peanut butter sandwich, shares BIG ideas with sophistication, intelligence, and abundant hope. And she’s beautiful, just stunning—inside and out.
Another school year starts tomorrow.
And I just need a couple more days. Two? Three? A couple more days before I am forced to realize that NOBODY is a preschooler or kindergartner. A couple more days to make them smile. Sure, in the summer time I am exhausted—I work instead of sleep, basically, when they are not in school. But I am endlessly restored by their energy and sunshine.
And what does this have to do with you, new mamas? Our WBC friends have babies and new toddlers. What’s with all the first day of school talk?
Well, for one—you’ll be here sooner than you think.
And two—you are here now. Think about it. In May a school mom wishes for summer. In August we’re done and then want a few more days. A new mother of a baby wishes their child would sleep through the night and then aches when they finally do. We wean and then weep. We applaud the first crawl and then will time to stop.
Tomorrow I will cry as the bus pulls away. Hard. And then I will take my first deep breath in 90 days. And I think you know what I mean.
Keep on, mamas, though your heart may be breaking.
With love from your doula,