The Back To School Blues August 20 2015
You start to look at life through a different lens the minute you become a parent. When Kaiya was born 8 years ago, my life was forever changed. I became a different person immediately. The selfish side of me was amputated from my soul and I no longer longed for the things that were once important to me. These days my longings are far different…I long for the precise recipe to raise well-rounded amazing kids. The horror stories on the news of what mankind has the capacity of doing FREAKS ME OUT! I admittedly go through life not watching a lick of the news because I want to believe that the world is good and my kids and all their friends will be free of any of the horrificness that is out there.
It’s funny how a new school year starts brewing up this sense of melancholy in me that doesn’t quite happen when they hit any other milestone, even their birthdays. There is something about the shift your child makes the minute you send them off to school. The simple act of walking them to their class on their first day and watching them wave you off as they take their first tiny steps of independence. Those tiny steps cause an unwavering feeling of growth my heart can’t handle. For some reason it starts flashing visuals of sending them off to college and despite their age I worry those days will come too soon. From what others tell me – they do.
As parents, it doesn't matter if your kids are a few days old or married with their own kids - you’re simply not prepared to detach and fully let them go. Now that the reality has set in that both my kids are going to start school, I'm mourning the idea of what my summer "could have" been. I start kicking myself thinking that I simply didn’t do enough with them this summer and that idea will haunt me forever. I'll begin to fight with the thought that I’ll never get this summer back and that I simply did not make enough memories.
This summer like most summers and every other season in between work takes its toll. It’s the nature of the beast and the reality of an entrepreneur. Being self-employed has its perks, mainly the one that I get to see my kids pretty much every single day. I get to partake in most of their school activities and I get to enjoy the small moments that some moms don’t get to because they are superheroes and leave their homes to work at offices or hospitals or schools, etc. Because I am making an attempt at being the best version of the mom I CAN be - I’m going to try something different. Instead of beating myself up and wishing I “would have” worked less and planned more I'll high-five myself for the things we DID manage to do this summer with them. We managed to surprise them on a Northeast vacation where they spent some of the most amazing time seeing their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – and we got a really nice exhale, even mixed in adventurous days exploring NYC by land and sea. We enjoyed all of the impromptu playdates, sleepovers, swimming, bowling outings, BBQs, dinners out, golf, baseball games, nights to the movies and just goofing around the house – plus Max’s 3rd birthday! Perhaps their summer wasn't jam packed with activities and they missed a trip to the beach this year, but my hope is the times their Dad and I made an attempt to do awesome things with them will be memorable and they'll realize how much we enjoyed every minute of it.
For now, I'll commence my back to school blues knowing full well routine and structure is what my littles thrive on most, but I’ll mostly miss the relaxed, not scheduled, rhythm of summer which is what I personally prefer. I'll continue to pray for God’s grace, wisdom and patience to stop beating myself up over my faults…and pray He shows me how to wake up each day eagerly trying to be a better version of the parent I was the day before. And before I know it, summer will be back in full swing and I’ll be able to do this all over again. Best of luck to my beautiful heroic mom friends and all other amazing moms out there who are sending their littles off to school, especially those who will be sending theirs to college. I’m rooting for you all the way to next summer!