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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Last Day of School and I’m Singin’ the Blues

Ah…the last day of school.  I thought I would be happier about this.  After all, I am tired, tired, tired. I am so done with carpools, rehearsals, homework battles, teacher issues,  strep throat, viruses, permission slips, projects, reports, extracurriculars,whining, lunches, lost and found,  calls from the nurse, shelling out money for various causes, projects, trips and gifts, sibling rivalry, lost books, sleepy , uncooperative children, girl drama and other assorted meltdowns…and this is all on a good day! 

Yet, I find myself feeling restless and completely out of sorts.  Moreover, I sense it in the kids.  In fact, over these last two weeks, I have noticed explosive behavior in the form of tantrums, compounded by sleeping trouble, followed by increased whining and clinginess.  At first, I ignored it; I guess I just didn’t want to see the signs.  Instead, my frustration level only increased with each bedtime battle or morning meltdown a la Unit 2… a.k.a the six-year old.

Bad Mommy

I didn’t really acknowledge his feelings and I have an advanced degree in Social Work for pity sake (bad mommy, bad mommy, and bad mommy).  After all, Kindergarten was a huge step for him and for someone who is not really “go with the flow,” he truly rose to the challenge successfully.  Now, his carefully constructed world that took a full school year to master is coming to a crashing halt and he is free falling.   Never mind that camp starts four days from now…school is ending, his beloved teacher will move on to a new class, the little community that he has come to know and love will ultimately disband as the curtain comes down on the Kindergarten finale. Well, that’s just harsh and it totally sucks.  No wonder he has been beyond annoying these last two weeks to the point where I literally needed a drink last night (Mike’s Hard Lemonade, in case you’re interested) and a few hundred chocolate chip cookies.

Life is Like a Stuck Gas Pedal

So, when I think how I completely ignored all these symptoms…I had to ask why.  I mean, I am not a clueless person.  Though I must be when I’m trying to repress my own feelings of bittersweet melancholy, because, like my kids, I too sense big changes around the bend.  Leah will go to sleepaway camp this year for the first time and then enter her final year of elementary school, and Unit 2 will be moving on to 1st grade.  Now for those of you with small children, you know that once they hit 1st grade, life is like a stuck gas pedal. 

Slow the Bus Down
It’s ironic that from the moment our children are born we are pushing them to reach milestones right away.  We try to get them on a sleep cycle, roll over, stand up, walk and talk.  I remember endless playgroup conversations highlighting each child’s movement while meticulously comparing it to others.  Yet, now, I really want to slow the bus down.  I want the years back so I can make improvements, be more in the moment, and appreciate the sweetness of it all (oh, and if you can give me those years back without gray hair, sleep deprivation, 10 lbs, compromised breasts, and never having to change an explosive diaper, that would be really great).

Is that too much to ask?  I guess we all know the answer to that rhetorical question.

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