life on the funny farm

Friday, August 21, 2009

End in Sight

Well here I sit, with the first day of school a mere 10 days away.
There were times this summer I didn't know if I'd make it out alive.

I'm not usually this way. I've always felt bad for the women who talk to each other about how they can't wait for the kids to be back in school. But now I've turned into one of them, ack!

Don't get me wrong, I will miss my kids. But there were just too many factors at play this year to make it a fun-to-the-last-drop summer. A few:

*Teens and pre-teens brought together by circumstance (vs by choice) don't always play well together.

*According to my doctor, my hormones are having quite a party, and I wasn't invited.

*Our number of kids has increased by 50%. The chaos level has risen by 75%.

*I'm sure police work can be a very rewarding career. But being the chore police, laundry police, food police, TV/computer/X-Box police, whose-turn-is-it-dispute police is no picnic. And for all my efforts I haven't once been given a hero badge or the key to the city.

But it hasn't all been gloom and despair. In fact, the second half of the summer was actually rather enjoyable. Here are a few of the upsides:

*Julie is an awesome kitchen helper and when it's her turn for that chore, she can really lighten my load.

*James can mow grass like nobody's business. It's been great for Fred to have three big kids who can help with lawn maintenance this summer.

*Julie has learned how to swim.

*Seeing them all splash and play in the pool never fails to bring a smile to my face.

*James has such a sweet smile when he comes back from a bike ride all sweaty and out of breath.

*Screen-free hours on a rainy afternoon when the house is hushed and the kids are scattered about in twos and threes playing Monopoly or cards, cutting out pictures of Robert or David or Zac from teeny-bopper magazines, or curled up with a good book.

So yes, in a week and a half they will be back in school. And then there will be the morning rush to contend with, and homework and after-school activities and stricter bedtimes to adhere to.
But I will have about seven hours each day in which no one will yell my name. I will not have to tell anyone to Stop Doing That This Instant.
And it will be Good.

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