Thursday, August 22, 2013

cheers to the first day of school

then there were two...

this week marks the first day of school for countless families. my own oldest three marched off on wednesday for their first days of fifth, second and first grades. as my husband returned from dropping them off, i'm pretty sure the dance party music could have been heard from several houses away. if i had been more prepared, mimosas might have been served all around. i think i am missing the nostalgic mommy gene. 

don't get me wrong. on the first day of kindergarten for each of my three kids, i welled up with tears. my heart ached that one chapter of our lives was over. now though, it is still over and onward we march. i still get sad. i can look through old photo albums and my whole being misses the way my babies used to be. i remember their sweetness and their cuddles and their sweet cherub faces that have morphed into something else. i miss those moments when my babies were small.

even my oldest three were little once...

my current reality, however, is that they are no longer babies and that summer is LONG. i love all my kids and i am happy to have five of them but summer is exhausting. my ears are constantly listening for five little bodies. i cook and clean up meals for seven three times a day all summer long (more if there are friends over to play or guests in the house). conflict is inevitable and, let's face it, after about the first six weeks, the kids are pretty tired of each other. i feel like a summertime mix between a referee, a long term party planner, and a very under appreciated maid. 

add to that fact that i feel like i really have two separate families. i have an older family with three kids. they love to ride bikes, have friends over, play video games, and fill days with activity. my other family is made up of a three year old and a one year old. they take naps, like mickey mouse, play with blocks and play-doh and still need help wiping their bottoms. when you mix the two pieces of my family together, some group is always sacrificing and i am stretched to somehow meet the needs of two groups of little people in very different places. 

all of that to say that i am one mommy who is happy to have my kids back in school. i miss when they were babies but i know that in reality, they are growing up we all can use a break from each other. for a few hours each day i am back to being a mommy of two. we cuddle and watch mickey mouse, we have stayed in pajamas much longer than normal and we have shared one-on-two time instead of one-on-five time. those moments of baby time are precious and, as the older kids go off school, i know how fleeting they are. 

so, for now, the dance party music is still playing. i have successfully made it through another summer. i have raised three great kids who are embarking on another year of elementary school. i am enjoying the return of a routine. the very best part of back to school? i have two little boys who are dancing it up with me...thrilled to be the two remaining kiddos reigning the roost. their sippy cups are full of leftover juice from my mimosas and our glasses are clinking together. cheers to all my babies, big and small.

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