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Friday, August 16, 2013

Live and Learn

Monday marks a significant time of year for my family.  Each summer when the first hiss of a cicada rings in my ears I begin to dread this day:  My first day back at work.

Come Monday morning our lives will be chaos for the next 9 months.  Lazy mornings of lounging in bed with all three kids will be left lurking in our memories.  Leisurely walks to the pond and park will fade away with the diminishing daylight.  Carefree attitudes about dirty feet, messy hair, and mismatched flip flops will turn into stresses.  Truth will set in: SUMMER IS OVER.

I have visions of the first day back going as follows:

The kids wake up at the early hour of 6:00 AM.  Cailyn and Bryce eagerly bounce out of their beds and dance into their clothes.  Bryce invites Cailyn to brush her teeth first and he dresses himself while he waits.  Cailyn politely declares she will happily eat whatever we serve her for breakfast.  Lauryn will crawl around the living room playing with her toys while Eric and I get ready for work.  After a healthy breakfast both kids will know exactly where BOTH of their matching shoes are and will put them on without being asked.  They will sit at the top of the steps and wait without fighting until it is time to get into the car.  As a family we will emerge from our spotless house wearing clean, pressed clothes with smiles on our faces.  We will embrace in goodbyes and arrive at our destinations early.  

This is how the first day back will really go:

The snooze button will be hit 2-3 times putting us 18 or more minutes behind schedule.  
Fireball Bryce will be galloping around the house singing songs only he knows the lyrics to.  The clothes laid out for Cailyn will have some agonizing crease in them causing her to shed streams of tears.  Lauryn will cry unless mommy is holding her.  Granola bars and bananas will be tossed haphazardly onto the counter as Cailyn and Bryce fight over which stool they sit on.  
Shoes will be lost even though I set them out the night before, more than likely a result of 
Bryce flinging them around the house as props to his song and dance.  We will leave the house 
with 1 kid under our arm, threatening to leave another one behind, and with one wailing because mommy isn't holding her.  Eric's shirt will be wrinkled, I will have spit up on my collar and sticky granola bar hand prints on my pants.  We will shove the kids into the car and call out some goodbyes over our shoulders.  We will arrive at our destinations 5 minutes late.  

It's reality people.  Leaving the house by 7:15 AM with three kids is just not practical.  In no way can I even think about striving for perfection.  In time we will find a routine that works for us and possibly arrive to work on time for the majority of the school year.

As I mentally prepare myself for returning to work I have to let go of my worries and anxieties.  Fears creep up inside me about leaving my kids at school all day without mom. What if Bryce needs a good mama hug?  What if Cailyn needs a reminder that she is smart and beautiful?  Dreams of Lauryn not remembering who I am when I pick her up at daycare have haunted me.  What if she feels abandoned?  I have lived these fears for 6 years now and each year I learn it gets better with time.  Although I dread this time of year I love it at the same time.  I get a charge of energy from starting a new school year.  Teachers have refreshed minds and returned motivation.  The cooler weather brings a crispness to the air and rejuvenates me as I breath it in.  I savor the changing colors on the treetops as I drive to and from work (although I have been told Iowa has a lack of trees!).  I have learned that I need to take these positive feelings and use them to help me through the worries of leaving the kids behind while I work.  I am fortunate that I am able to spend my afternoons with Lauryn and pick the big kids up from school each day.  I look forward to seeing their smiling faces run to me as they push their way through the school doors at 3pm.

I wouldn't dread this time of year as much if the first scenario was the norm in our house.  A mom can dream, right?

1 comment:

Eric said...

I think I cried a little as you described your vision. I swear those bad mornings take 6 months off my life.