Saturday, August 7, 2010

ugh. summer vacation is ending.

Ugh. Monday marks the first day of the new school year. Ugh.

A part of me is really looking forward to it. For some reason, Donovan and Ainsleigh have been at each other's throats for the better part of the week and, in turn, on my last nerve. I am short with them and easily annoyed. Sometimes saying goodbye to someone turns from something sad and emotional to angry and hostile. I've seen it with my kids and the family that come to visit. Everything is great until the last day, when suddenly they aren't as loving and endearing. Like by pushing people away, it won't hurt as much when they're gone. I think that's what we're doing with summer vacation.

I am going to miss it, terribly.

I love not having to be anywhere at a given time. I love the park and the pool and the backyard. I love traipsing into the library and making ice cream on the trampoline. I love lathering the kids in sunscreen (so do they - Gemma squeals, "Skeen! skeen!") and seeing flushed faces and sweat-edged hair run in and guzzle from their water bottles. I love blowing my kids minds by suggesting Yogurtland for lunch and playing outside after dinner. I love having to say, "You need a shower!" when they trudge in, dirty feet, sweaty bodies, bruised knees, and satisfied grins, after a hard day of playing.

On Thursday we went to school to meet the teachers. We took five steps into Donovan's classroom and as I saw his name printed on a nameplate on the table and his teacher usher him over to where his cubby was, I felt the sadness well up and out my eyes. GAH - I thought this would be easier with my second, my stinky crude aggravating delicious wonderful child. How could I think that? Do I love him less? His teacher hugged him and said she had cried the day before when dropping off her 3rd and 5th graders and that's just what moms do. I think I was so caught up in being excited for him to go to school, that I totally overlooked the fact that he is GOING to school.

Ainsleigh's teacher sounds wonderful and loving and was very gracious to pretend she understood what I was saying when she looked at Ainsleigh's mismatched clothing and several hair accessories and reserved nature and heard me saying quietly that she was VERY left-brained. It was a couple hours later when my palm met my forehead and I quickly composed an email that apologized because of course I know she is NOT left-brained. Wow. If Ainsleigh succeeds, I fear it will be in spite of her mother, not because of.

But Ainsleigh, of course, is a huge part of my anxiety-laced feelings of dread as school starts. Have I done enough this summer? (of course not) Will she do ok at school? (she will surely fail and it will be because I'm a horrible inattentive mother) Will people be nice to her? (never) Will she be happy? (no, and it will be all my fault)

It's so stupid - I look at those questions and know the answer is yes (except maybe the first one - but that's really the only one I can control). But as her mother, who loves her more than anyone in the whole world does and ever will, I am almost paralyzed by the fear that she will be unhappy. Unhappy with herself, with her challenges, with the people around her, with me. Oh sweet heaven, mostly with me.

When you're going to have children, people are quick to tell you their pregnancy/labor horror stories. Nobody ever tells you how incredibly painful it is to watch them get older. Wonderful and painful.

Come Monday, I will (try to) put on a brave face (and my super dark sunglasses) and walk them to school, give them hugs and kisses, tell them I love them, and then walk away after they have disappeared inside. I'll probably cry the whole walk home. That's how I roll.

I still have Gemma, though, who is proving to be surprisingly attentive to feelings. Recently, as I sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing my eyes in frustration at the latest thing the kids were doing, Gemma sauntered up and placed both hands on my knee, rested her chin on her stacked hands, and said, "Mommy? You tie-uhd uh sad?" The obvious answer was, "Both." She replied, "Oh," and leaned forward to rub my back. But the immediate follow-up answer was, "Neither." Because in that instant I was surprised that she recognized my feelings, impressed that she actually verbalized it, and happy that I still had a little person who I could keep at home with me.

I suspect the tired and sad (and happy) are all directly linked to Monday. Summer vacation is officially over. Ugh.


Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, I can't imagine sending my boys to school. I'm going to be a mess. Ugh.

P.S. You are such a good mom, in that you have enjoyed this time with your kids, instead of being excited for the time when they're finally out of your hair. I'm glad you guys have had a good summer :)

Melin said...

I am so sad for you I am going to cry.

Margo said...

I am right there with you. Last night I was almost in tears at the thought of my kids going back to school, then Jarren told me to wait until they were back up in the morning. The end of summer is bitter-sweet. Love ya...