In 41-and-a-half hours, I will have three kids in school for seven hours a day. They'll all shuffle out the door at (roughly) 7:30 and come home at (roughly) 2:30. While they are gone, I'll have one fairly docile child at home, at least until she starts preschool in September.
Can you smell that? It's the sweet scent of freedom. It smells like oranges and happiness.
Now, I don't normally spout long, self-congratulatory harangues on this blog (at least, I don't think I do - but it's been a long time since I posted and I might have forgotten my self-congratulatory tendencies, in which case I apologize.) I am proud of myself for my behavior this summer. Until today, I never once mentally calculated the days remaining until school started. I tried very hard not to complain about the heat. I stayed busy, mostly by attaching myself to my friend Luisa's schedule and doing all the fun things she did. I tried to enjoy the summer.
That's not to say I was the perfect summer-loving mom. I didn't complain about the heat because I stayed in my air conditioned house a lot. I didn't calculate the days remaining because I knew it would depress me. I stayed busy because every time Luisa called to invite me somewhere, I heaved a big sigh and said, "I don't want to, but I ought to." So basically, I can attribute my good summer to Luisa and air conditioning.
Whatever. In the end, though, I did have a good summer, and that's all that matters. It feels like a successful summer. I'm happy about the way summer went, a stark contrast to last summer's three-month-long torture session. I love it. I'm happy.
That being said, summer's almost finished and I can start fantasizing about the beautiful, glorious school year that lies ahead. Everything I'm looking forward to falls into two categories:
- Peace. I think the kids want to go back to school as much as we want them to, if only to escape the constant companionship of their siblings. We all need some absence to make the heart grow fonder. And absence doesn't bruise the way a brother's "accidental" full-body slam does.
- Quiet. The noise level in this house approaches that of a turbine engine. Ryan wishes the "hard of hearing" years happened in your thirties and forties, when a person desperately wants to be able to just turn off the hearing aid for a while. And then your hearing magically comes back when the kids are teenagers, so you can hear them sneaking in the house past curfew.
That's it. That's all I want out of the next nine months, peace and quiet. Cliched, I know, but still true. I want to appreciate the peace and quiet of having only one (relatively benign) child at home. I vow to enjoy the weather in the fall, the crystalline snow in the winter, and not to whine too much about the horrid, miserable, wet and cold and entirely-too-long spring. I will attempt to get Zack to turn in his homework at least 80% of the time. I may, at some point, most likely, be at least semi-successful at potty-training Darcey, although I'm not getting my hopes up.
I'm afraid to say this too loud, for fear that I'll jinx myself, so I'll whisper:
I think I'm going to have a very good year.