It’s 10:15pm. The girls have finally had their last goodnight kisses. Breakfast remnants, lunch plates and sadly, yes, dinner dishes line the hand print laden kitchen counter. A two-day old basket of laundry sits next to my bed, another in the dryer and there’s even a load ready to be spun in the washing machine.
I’m going to whine a little, just to warn you.
There is only one time today that I can remember peeing in private without the audience of a puppy, a child or both. I’ve washed someone’s hair, wiped someone’s butt and cleaned up pee off the floor. For lunch I ate sweet pickles right out of the jar and a yogurt (not together). I drove kids to swimming, to gymnastics, to tutoring, to find a new swimsuit, and to theater camp. I served Lean Cuisines and leftovers for dinner in shifts while scheduling vet appointments, refilled prescriptions and balancing the checkbook. And the strawberry jam on my burnt toast of a day? I can’t find the title paper work to the car we are selling.
*oh no! says the audience*
But now here it is,11:00pm and not a creature is stirring, not even my spouse. Each child is tucked away safely in their beds, soundly sleeping. Baby Luna is curled up tightly between my side and DW’s pillow. All the bills are paid, there’s ground turkey defrosting in the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner and the girls’ bathing suits are laid out for the morning’s swim lessons. The dishes will get put away after my 6am puppy potty detail. I can fold clothes watching some show I’ve taped in the afternoon. And I’m sure the DMV can order me another copy of my title.
I don’t want to wish away my summer. The fall will be here soon enough. School backpacks will replace over-stuffed coolers and pool totes. Evenings full of homework and studying will get in the way of eating ice-cream in mom’s bed while watching The Food Network. Car headlights floating down our driveway, signaling children are home from practice, will wash out the glow of fireflies and flashlight tag.
How do I learn to slow down and enjoy the summer with my children? I understand what an incredible blessing it is to be able to stay home and not worry about summer childcare. But sometimes I can’t help but get resentful of the sudden loss of personal space or how much time I spend in the car.
Driving and waiting. Waiting and driving.
The Hare said her prayers tonight, the same as every night:
“God bless mommy, daddy, sissy, Chelsea, baby Luna and my whole family. Help me make good choices, forgive me of my bad choices. In Jesus name, amen.”
And then she gave me a big hug and kisses before saying,
“Thanks for another great day, mom”
The summer is so not about me.