The two week wait. The nail-biting, horrible, exciting, stomach-twisting, butterflying, anticipatory, hopeful two week wait. The agony, the torture, the suspense, the wishful thinking. The hope, the elation, the freeze-this-moment joy.
No people, I’m not talking about “that” two week wait. I’m talking about the two (plus) weeks in-between camp and school. I know #whitepeopleproblems, but really…I know I’m not alone in this.
The first few days of summer vacation, I was hopeful in anticipation of a calm, relaxing summer ahead. As you can see from my last post, I planned to spend my summer playing with the baby, enjoying restful and fun beach weekends with all of my boys, reading, cooking, blogging, time with friends.
Life threw us a few curve-balls and those plans changed. Don’t get me wrong, we had our great days. The baby and I enjoyed fun in the sun, the kids had a blast at camp (and zero sick days – woohoo!), and we shared some nice family time at home and away with family and friends. But mix in some real life mishegas, personal illness, chores, among other serious issues and there was virtually no time for reading, writing, cooking, blogging, or big-clean-out the closet moments.
Which brings me to the last day of camp and the impending two week wait. My husband and I nearly cried as we realized 8 weeks of summer had quickly passed and summer moments were dwindling. What were we to do to occupy three children under 6 for over 2.5 weeks?
It seems ridiculous when I say it out loud, but the truth is, in this day and age, children are less safe to run around outside for hours on end with “community” adult supervision. Kids are not conditioned to just “be” anymore. They are overloaded with work all year in school, overstimulated by electronics, hyped up on the excitement of all the amazing things camp has to offer, and eager to continue their summer fun.
was am eager to continue my summer fun. I had grand dreams for the two weeks before school started. Finally, I would have all three boys all mine in the summer sun. I spent my summer mornings rushing to get them off to camp and my early evenings struggling with the crankiness from heat and exhaustion to just get them fed, cleaned, and off to bed. I didn’t want to deprive them of the priceless experiences in camp, but I also felt damned. I was missing out on wonderful moments of summer enjoyment with two of my three little boys. Moments I couldn’t get back. Cue mommy guilt.
So I dreamed of the weeks in-between camp and school. We would run around outside. We would have water fights. We would go swimming and to the beach. We would be happy, and smiling, and constantly care-free. Schedules be damned. This was our moment. This was our end of summer to enjoy.
Bam! Pow! Crack! Those dreams were suddenly shattered by whining, fighting, fit throwing children, eager for activity, yet collectively hard to please all at once.
But I would not give up. We went to the pool (“ugh not this again! I want to go to Papa’s pool instead” – aka my grandpa’s hot tub). We went to the beach (“he threw sand in my eye.” “Ice-pop-one-more” x20). We went out to dinner (“but I wanted pizza”).
I booked us a trip to the beach and we did enjoy, but still we faced an unsettling discomfort. It’s hard to please five people with five different needs all at once.
I still would not give up. We celebrated a birthday, we went to the beach club, to the park, to Build A Bear, the book store. We played in the backyard, in the basement. We re-discovered our love affair with Thomas the Train, and newly discovered our collective love for Minions (“Minis” according to the baby). We were happy and fortunate.
We laughed, we hugged, we smiled, we cried, we screamed, we argued, we resorted to name calling and “You’re not my friend!” banter. And that was just my husband and I. Forget about what went on with the kids.
The two week wait was painstakingly upon us. A mixture of happy, yet dejected mothers loomed the neighborhood. “This needs to end yesterday…” “These kids need to go back to school now.” “Why didn’t our district start before Labor Day too?!” commentary floated through the air. Babysitters, grandparents, and activity people were called in for reinforcements. A collective “HELP” was heard throughout the land…
And then Labor Day weekend approached and the intense feeling of, “Oh shit, the summer is over and a winter from hell is sure to be upon us,” mixed with, “Please let me freeze these precious worry-free moments with my babies for just a few more days,” sentiments rose from the depths and we tried to savor the summer smiles despite it all. A strange sense of calm wafted in the air.
Last night, my husband and I snuggled with the kids in our bed for group story-time. We usually act like a well-oiled machine, baths, brush teeth, pajamas, books, and off to bed. But after a long day of fun, mixed with some whining and complaints, we chose to slow down and savor the moment, with a sentiment of peace and late bedtimes. And it tasted pretty damn good.
So as we continue on this journey, coming close to the end of our two (plus) week wait between the end of camp and the start of school, I’m choosing to rise above the dejected, “the kids won’t stop fighting, there’s sand stuck in my washer machine, I can’t fold one more f-ing load of laundry” mentality and I am choosing to embrace the fights and the sand and the laundry and all that comes along with having my three, happy, healthy little boys all mine for just a few more hazy, lazy summer days. Here’s to smiles only from Mommy (and Daddy) while we enjoy the end of Summer 2015.