My maternal clock is ticking. Not in the “reached a magic age and not had a baby” kind of way. Definitely not in that kind of way. In the “I’ve had all my kids and soon they will leave me” kind of way.
Summer’s coming to an end, all the kids will be back in their classrooms on Monday. We took a break from mornings at swim practice, afternoons at play rehearsal, evenings at basketball games a few weeks ago and since have visited a few friends, gone on vacation, finished up those summer packets. But with barely 72 hours before its all officially over, I’m panicking about all that we didn’t do. This might be the first summer in my motherhood career that we didn’t make it to the zoo; I’m not really sure how that happened. Perhaps, those 100 degree days had something to do with it. And we only made one batch of ice cream. In this sense, those 100 degree days should’ve pushed us to many many more gallons. Will the kids’ memories of this summer be somehow defective?
Though this end-of-summer panic is not new, it's stronger this year. Because now I’m counting down not only the days of this summer, but the numbers of summers left with my brood.
We’re going through a seismic shift in our house. I felt like my son needed his own room; he’s the only boy and it seems like he’d enjoy his own non-girl-filled space sometime. My husband agreed in the way that he agrees to anything - not necessarily enthusiastically, but not really putting up much of an argument either. For Jay to get his own room, his little sister had to move out. She’s moving down the hall to the “girls’ room”. But three in a room is just too much, so my oldest is moving to her room, too. Everyone is just shuffling up and down the hall, barely 10 feet apart from each other. But it seems like a much bigger move.
My oldest daughters have lived together their entire lives. (Well, okay, not the first 2 years of Elle’s when she was the only child, but she doesn’t remember that portion of her life, anyway.) This year, they will both be in middle school, but not together. (I can’t believe that Breeze is heading off to middle school!) And now they won’t even be living together. I have anguished over their separation for the past week as we moved office furniture out and a bed and clothes and books and basketball trophies in.
There’s no going back at this point. I asked my husband and he has refused to move all the furniture back. So their separation begins. I’m already nervously anticipating the whirlwind of these next few years that will end with my oldest leaving for college. The beginning of my little birdies leaving the nest. I’m so not ready for that.
On Elle’s very first day of school, as in pre-school, I did cry a little bit. You would think I would’ve been better by child number 2 or 3 or 4. Nope. Even on Monday, as they leave one by one for the school bus, I’ll wish them well and hope they have a great first day of school and breathe a sigh of relief for the break after a kid-filled summer. But before my other mom friends show up for our annual coffee, I’ll wipe away a tear or two. Because I’m one year closer to them taking bigger steps to head out into the world.
And I hear that maternal clock ticking away.
Join the conversation and keep Just Piddlin' with us on Facebook.