I’m lounging in my pajamas again, on a school morning at that. Why not? There’s no need to race from the shower in order to beat the family morning rush with wet hair. Instead I’ve gotten used to actually reading the newspaper cover-to-cover before the kids stampede down the stairs. My day is beginning with a quiet, peaceful morning graced with a strong, aromatic cup of coffee. It’s just too good to last.
Summer is finally hitting a nice groove in our home. After weeks of camps and various other activities we are all enjoying unstructured days spent outdoors, often returning home from the park near 8 p.m. under a sunny August sky. The kids are relaxed, content to lollygag about, playing with friends, climbing trees, or retreating to enjoy a favorite book.
Last night they got an even later bedtime and so I’m pleased and surprised to find it’s almost 8 a.m. without the interruption of feet stomping down the stairs.
I take in the view of the hills outside the glass doors and relax in the quiet of my day before doing a mental check of any agenda. Let’s see, it’s Thursday which means a trip to the pediatrician’s office for a yearly checkup and oh, a stop at Staples to buy school supplies. And have the lunchboxes we ordered arrived? Did Lauren want to keep those jeans or return them for others? Does William have enough socks, any socks? I better look through those shirts too. Grace needs to start wearing those shoes again since crocs aren’t allowed at preschool.
I feel a familiar rush of adrenaline surge through me then my eye intuitively darts to the oven clock. Oh shit, it’s 8:30 a.m. already. On Monday the kids will be expected to be attentive in class at this time rather than slumbering against soft pillows.
I have exactly four remaining nights to readjust my kids from roughly sixty-eight nights of a different sleep schedule.
But it’s the Olympic season so anything’s possible, right? I wonder if Michael Phelps’s Mom let him sleep in during the summer. No, I bet even in preschool he was completing his warm-ups by now and probably made his bed before he left the house.
I consider my kids’ academics, the first time all summer. Does Lauren remember any regrouping for division? Can William write anything besides his name? I better make sure that “a” is kept lower-case. Okay, four days to go. Can I cram a recap of the previous year’s curriculum between now and Monday? Should I?
Oh hell, the kids will probably be sleepwalking those first weeks anyway since I, their Mother, didn’t keep our schedules on track. Dark eyes, sullen looks, snapping mouths—wish it were true that I was describing characters from Maurice Sendak and not my own offspring.
I had also hoped to take on one home project given the freedom and flexibility summer allows … what was it going to be again?
The dog barks, interrupting the downward spiral of thought. A crisp Autumnal morning chill greets me as I open the door. The season will be soon changing. Gone will be the daylight-basked evenings and warm air wafting pleasantly through the window screens.
I imagine the dark winter mornings with my setting out the breakfast and packing lunch boxes while weary little forms trod down the stairs with the greeting “Do I have to go to school again today?” and their little sister chirping at mere mention of the “s” word, “I don’t go to my school. I miss my Mommy.”
Aah, Fall. Summer was too good to last.