This is the first year that I looked toward the coming summer break with sheer terror mixed in with the anticipation. This was the first year in a long time that I have had only one child at home during the day, and though she can be pretty crazy, she has no one to argue with, therefore, it means no bickering, no tattling and so no Mommy refereeing. Though I have to be pretty hands on with Lily, it has been a fairly peaceful year.
Summer break means all that is going to change.
I love my kids. I enjoy hanging out with them. The closer it comes to the end of the school year, the more I begin to think of all the fun things that we’re going to get to do together. It means more snuggle time, more hugs and kisses, more chats, more laughter. It means long days at the park and it means lazy days at the pool. All of this with three of my favorite people in the world!
But, you see, I am no longer a young, idealistic, novice mom. I know that it also means long days of bickering, whining and refereeing. It means that I will now have three children to interrupt me every thirty seconds instead of just one. It means there will now be three children hollering for me across the house and finally poking their heads in when I’m going to the bathroom. It means absolute chaos!
Summer break began for us last week Friday, and just as I knew would happen, we have had some great times. We’ve had pool parties, play dates, picnics and visits to the sprinkler park. We’ve had fun with friends and cuddles with family. It sounds idyllic!
But, as I also knew would happen, they came out of the gates bickering. Every single one of them wants Mommy to his/her self and each one thinks that they should have sole control of the remote.
Knowing this was inevitable I was proactive. I filled my calendar with fun things to do and planned out a school chart so the kids would continue working on their reading and writing all summer. I planned out a chore chart (I mean, there’s no reason they can’t help more when they have so much free time on their hands, right?). I tried to think of anything and everything.
Even being proactive, it doesn’t seem to be enough! It’s only week one, and this Mommy feels like a computer when it has had too much input in too short of a period of time and it just freezes. My brain does that same thing when I am bombarded by my three children all at the same time, it just freezes, and I find myself simply staring at them with that deer in the headlights kind of look. My brain just stops working!
TOO . . . MUCH . . . INFORMATION!!!!
And yet, I know that these are the times I am going to look back on, the days I’m going to wish were back when they’re gone. I’m not going to remember the bickering and the squabbles. I’m going to remember the days when Gavin still wanted to read with me and the times when Belle wanted to take a walk holding my hand and chattering my ear off about all of the things that are most important to her. I’m going to remember that last summer when Lily, by any stretch of the imagination, could be considered babyish at all.
The chaos is just as much a reality as the good times, but somehow, that just doesn’t seem to matter, at least not right now in the few moments of relative quiet I have managed to carve out of this crazy day. I look at them and I see them growing, sometimes I feel like, right before my eyes. These moments are going to be gone before I know it and I know that I would take all the chaos to have them back again when they’re gone!
These are the magical days of childhood, where Lily is still so free and unselfconscious to burst into spontaneous song and dance, and Arabelle is uninhibited enough to snuggle up with me in bed, and even Gavin is still young enough to sit on mom’s lap, even though part of him hesitates, wondering if it’s still okay.
These are the heart and soul of Motherhood
and I’ll take the bad along with the good any day!