It’s not so much that I’m ready for my kids to be back in school as it is that I’m ready for the routine for us all. I’m ready for the quiet time at home for work. I don’t want to be ready for these things. In a perfect world, I’d be the one spending the long, lazy days of summer with my kids, fossil hunting in our back yard; gathering sticks and drift to make crafts and mandalas, reading and cooking and learning about the world around us at our own pace.
As it is, they are here with a nanny, doing amazing things with her all day while I try to keep my focus on work and the ever growing pile of emails and projects. They are here and my frustration grows – with the activity and noise that blows my focus, with the mountain of work that seems to only grow more insurmountable, with the tiny bits and pieces of time I have with them where dinner and baths and laundry and commitments need to be tended, with the desperate longing to be the one baking and building and discovering with them.
So my frustration comes out at them and it hurts. It hurts me and it hurts them. I sit quietly at night and try to focus on the bright spots of the day instead of silently crying for the many many times I messed up. I sit and desperately shove all my resolve into the basket of ‘tomorrow.’ Tomorrow I will not raise my voice a single time. Tomorrow I will smile and joke and laugh more. Tomorrow, I will take time to dance before starting dinner. Tomorrow I will let go a little more and let the little bits of time that I do have evolve naturally and contentedly.
Today I’m learning little by little. I raise my voice less. I smile more. I am more conscious of taking small moments of time to connect over Legos, a book, listening to music together or finding something for them to do in the kitchen to help with dinner (using a paring knife is a new favorite). Today I learn little by little that even in mid-yell I can stop and take a deep breath and soften my face and change my tone. I can teach by example.
Today I am imperfect. I can teach that imperfect is ok.
Today, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the house will be quiet next week and I long for a tomorrow where we return to school, sun-kissed and full of the togetherness of summer.
Happy School Year, Everyone!