We are on the final countdown to what might be known to mothers across the land as Back to Sanity... err I meant SCHOOL. That's what I wanted to say... Back to School.
(Can I get an amen, hallelujah and thank-you-Jesus that summertime is coming to an end?)
Why is it that every June I have this idea that we will have this beautiful family bonding time, full of laughter and picnics at sunset on the beach?
In reality my life looks more like the five of us freezing our asses off hoping that the fog-drenched firewood lights, the dripping sand-encrusted dog (with zero sense of personal space) decides she loves everyone on the beach and needs to lay herself broadside on each person individually, but first she knocks the hot dog out of little sister's hands. Little sister is now crying, little brother decides to retaliate by running after the dog wielding a stick, all the while, I'm shouting commands on deaf ears, choking on the beginnings of campfire smolder that is being blown directly into my eyes and throat. The cold breeze is flying our cups and plates and napkins everywhere and now... shit. As in - Did someone bring the doggie clean-up bags?
Suffice it to say that I keep looking at next week's schedule with the same longing that I used to gaze upon Kirk Cameron with, in my copy of Teen Magazine. It is oh so sexy to see those broad swaths of hours between 8 and 3 just wide open for free-flowing un-interrupted work, solo grocery store visits, yoga-yoga-yoga and maybe... if I'm lucky... I might be able to sneak in a little beautification project (let's just say vanity has taken a backseat these few months.)
This summer vacation business isn't for slackers. I've spent the last five summers being a single mom with a single daughter who only spent part of the summer with me. (I know... rookie, right?) This summer, my family has grown to three kids (five on Tuesdays) who rotate through the house non-stop. I haven't had a kid-free day since May and it has given me mad amounts of respect for the truly badass mommies of the world. (You know who you are and I bow to you.)
This motherhood business is a hell of job to sign up for. It's a difficult pain-in-the-ass. And yet, it is so so worth it.
What I've learned is I can't try to be good and I don't have to be. I can't be the best mom. I can't even be a great mom. But I can be a mom, their mom. And that is enough. I can be myself. And I can love them with my whole heart (even if it is smoke-choked, sand-covered and tear-stained).
And I can get on my knees and say thank you.
That the kids are going back to school.