As I sit here at 9:16 am on a Thursday morning in August with a cleansing skin mask on and no children underfoot, I can’t help but wonder where summer went while simultaneously doing a little cheer complete with cartwheels and backflips(imaginary of course as I am not as nimble as my children). The last time I wrote, if you recall, I was putting arthritis cream on one kid, while another was stuck in a tree, and a third was missing an appointment because I couldn’t keep track of the days of the week(I should have had them sing me the song to remind me, oh well, maybe next year). Summer has come and gone now and writing just wasn’t something I could keep up with. It’s not that we were overly busy, but I don’t like to over load myself, and there were so many things that I HAD to do and so many things I WANTED to do, that writing got cut, but that’s ok, because it got me to brainstorm all the things I wanted to write about once the boys were back in school. So it turned out that their summer vacation was my summer vacation too, and as it should be, why should they get to have all the fun??? I am not trying to imply that it was all FUN, oh no, sometimes, it was torture, hair pulling, kicking and screaming torture. In fact, I now know why summer camps would be a fabulous addition to my life next year, because my kids need a break from one another. We did almost everything together this summer, which I believe is a beautiful thing, and I want more of it, but I can also see the necessity in getting my kids to do some separate activities next summer so they won’t be picking at one another 24/7. When they were getting along, they were great, sweet, beautiful Hallmark moments, and when they weren’t… it wasn’t.

So what did we do this summer? We went to the beach and the pool with our friends, saw some movies, my youngest went to summer school for 3 weeks, we did vacation bible school at our church, I babysat for 2 weeks(my kids were obsessed), we dog sat twice for a week each(my kids were obsessed), my dad visited for a little over two weeks-we day tripped and found some great local fishing spots, my fireman and I got to go on a few dates and a few late night walks, we celebrated two birthdays(ages 6 and 8), I went to two concerts(one with hubby one without), read lots of books, and watched lots of tv. We had a good summer.

It is still summer time, but here in our little beach side town, it is time for the kiddos to go back to school. My oldest and middle started 2nd and 4th on Tuesday and I actually got a little choked up at the bus stop. And yesterday my youngest got on the bus for the very first time for his first day of kindergarten. My sweet neighbor gave me a hug after I asked my son if I could ride the bus with him, he laughed, told me no, and let go of my hand. This kid is not new to school, he is a pro at 6 years old already, but as I lay in bed this morning thinking about my day, I calculated that he is gone an extra 80 minutes more a day than in pre-school and that’s only on the 3 days he went full day last year. What does that mean? It means this mama is going to have a lot of time on her hands(so much so that I switched to third person). Everyone tells me, you will fill up that time and figure it out. Oh, I know I will, there is a lot to be done. But let me say what I don’t want to fill my day up with ishousework. My kids are all in school, all day, and I miss them. I miss when they were toddlers and we had trips to the playground and picnics, I will miss our library outings(I plan to borrow my nephew for story time as I’m really not ready to give it up yet), I will miss reading to my little boys a zillion times a day. I will miss building with them and as I packed away our little people collection yesterday I remembered all the fun times we had with those toys. I am thankful for all of those memories and looking back over all those years of raising babies into bigger boys, my life revolved around them, every second of every day, diapers, stories, outings, baths, playtime, movies, keeping these kids healthy and alive is a full time job, so mama’s give yourselves credit, whether you stay at home or work outside the home, raising babies is full time work, I joke that the pay is terrible, but the rewards are pretty sweet.

I loved this full time stay at home mama job, and now I get to adapt to it in a new way and I’m pretty excited for the things ahead. I can get a part time job, I can write, I can cook and bake(with chocolate or bacon, or maybe both, maybe at the same time), I can craft, I can volunteer at the school, I can blog, I can draw, I can use the steam mop as my microphone while I clean the house and listen to Backstreet Boys(judgment free blog zone), I can visit with friends, I can read a book, I can watch a movie, I can go on day dates with my husband without having to pay a sitter! I can find out a little bit of who I am without my kids, so perhaps it can help me to be a better mommy for me kids. So today I spent the morning at the beach with my friend, and later when my kids say, “you went to the beach without me?” I can reply, “yup, I did it for you!”