Why I Don’t Do a Happy Dance on the First Day of School
Summertime is melting away like a popsicle on a Texas sidewalk. Every morning I wake up thanking God for another summer day with my kids, and every night I grieve just a little bit that another day has passed and we’re one step closer to school supplies and meet-the-teacher and new shoes and fresh haircuts.
I’ve seen plenty of funny articles about how moms are on the verge of killing their children, counting the minutes until the school bell rings in August. I’ve seen the Facebook statuses about how long the summer is, about how wonderful it will be when the routine comes back. I don’t know why–none of that rings true for me.
While other mothers grieve the beginning of summer, I mourn for weeks after school starts again. While other moms can’t wait to have a routine, I struggle to keep up with the routine. While mamas everywhere grin all the way home from dropping their kids off on the first day, I leave in tears.
It’s not that my kids never get on my nerves. They do, of course. They are small people with underdeveloped levels of maturity and patience. They are constant question-askers and they like to sit really, really close, even when it’s 105 degrees. But, try as I might, I just can’t tell them to stop asking questions. I can’t bring myself to move away when we are sitting together in a sweaty lump on the porch swing. All I can think about when we’re together is how limited the time is, how quickly the moments go, how funny they are, how loud they are, how alive they are, and how quiet and lonely things will be when they are gone.
I can’t decide if it’s a deficiency in me or if it’s a gift. But, every day I am so keenly aware of how fleeting this experience is. Not just summertime, but motherhood.
Right now, though, summer is slipping through my fingers. So, while many mothers are counting the days until the first day of school, I am just waking up each morning happy that we have no place to go.
And, at least twenty times a day, I look at my kids and I try to burn into my mind what they sound like, smell like, look like, think like, and talk like this summer. Because these few months of freedom with a 7, an 11, and a 14 year old will never come back to us again.
I know what will happen. Fall will come, right on schedule, and it will be precious and exciting and fun. I will be thankful for another awesome school experience for the kids. And my longing for summertime will fade. But, for now, I guess I am just trying to live right in the middle of the gratefulness. I’m trying to drink in every second as if I may never get another one.
And, as summer continues to speed by, I will hang on tight and sit as close to my kids as possible, even when it is 105 degrees.