this little bloggy-post on the eve of my children returning to school. It was probably the only time in history Kool & The Gang and Julie Andrews ever shared a Internet space.
Well, exactly 11 hours and 54 minutes from right now my children will again return to school, thereby closing out yet another Christmas Vacation. And I have to be honest, although I am certainly not planning to throw myself across their lunchboxes and backpacks while begging them not to leave me, I will deliver each of them to their respective classes with the perfect amount of "Praise You, Sweet Jesus & I'm going to miss you guys." For those that know me, this has been 9 years in the making.
I'm a decent mom. Certainly not going to make any Mom of the Year lists, but if things continue on as they have been over the last 9 years, I shouldn't be appearing on an episode of Dateline entitled "Moms From Hell." I call that success in my world. However, I am not one of those moms that cried when my children went of to school. I don't necessarily miss them when I go away for the weekend with Hubby. And I have no problem missing a bedtime or two per month because I'm out having coffee with friends. Maintaining My Own Life in addition to having My Mommy Life has been a priority of mine from Day 1. Some might say this makes me selfish. Personally I think it makes me a better mom. Holding on to as much of Me to counteract all the Theirs has helped me navigate through the tough times. And as the boys have gotten older and needed me less and in different ways, I haven't struggled with finding a new identity. I was never Only Mom. I was Mom and Mrs. Normal. (No, I'm not saying I was ever "normal". I'm saying I was "Normal". See the difference?)
I'm not going to pretend the last 16 days have been perfect. There have been arguments and bickering and consequences and lectures and lectures and lectures and a few more lectures with a fair amount of ranting thrown in for variety. The boys have bugged the crap out of one another and almost pushed me to the end of my limit on numerous occasions. They've been selfish and instigators and ungrateful and lazy and snarky. (I have no idea where the snarkiness comes from by the way. Clearly a paternal trait.) But they've also been funny and silly and kind and loving. They've snuggled and giggled and shared and explored. They've played and learned and danced and watched an illegal amount of television. And it's been perfect- Real Life Perfect. Meaning that there's the good with the bad. The highs with the lows.
And though they have not quite held up their end of my brilliant New Year's Resolution, I can't say I've quite mastered it yet either. So we're a work in progress. And as the homework begins again and the activities resume, I will continue to work on reasonable expectations and curtailing the yelling and they will try their hardest to stop doing stupid shit.
But tomorrow, when I deposit them at those classroom doors I will not dance my way to my car and bust out a little Running Man in the parking lot. (Yes, I've done this before.) I will hug them tight and kiss their sweet faces. Then I will stroll back to my car with maybe a tiny fist pump, head home to prep dinner, do laundry and work. And the house will feel a little too quiet for the first time in weeks. I will get all my To Do's completed and feel quite accomplished by the time 2:35 rolls around. And when they climb in the car at the end of the day, my heart will swell and I will be very very happy to see them... Until we pull out of the parking lot and they start fighting over who first saw the out of state license plates we pass on the way home or who gets to pick the show they get to watch while having a snack or who had the best first day back or, well, pretty much anything they can possibly think of while climbing all over one another to get out of the car first.
It's time for school to begin again.
That's just my normal.