As the last day of preschool approaches, I'm filled with a bevy of emotions. I'm nostalgic for the two little boys I saw off to preschool last September who have suddenly lost their baby cheeks and who can now read and add numbers. I'm excited for a fun-filled summer packed with adventure, popsicles, and lazy afternoons. And I'm terrified as I realize my kids have zero scheduled activities for the next two months.
These emotions may contradict each other, but let's be honest—the last day of school is a crazy time for moms. I know I'm not the only one with these thoughts on the last day of school:
You know, the ones where you are fighting with your kids about what to wear, slap on some makeup (if you can call it that), throw your hair into a messy bun, and grab something that resembles food and coffee while reminding your kids 8 times that you are late and they have to put on their shoes. Those mornings. Those are done for the next two months. Woohoo!
Well, you saw this coming. If you can relate to those mornings, you know what it feels like to be late for school. I am an on-time type of person, so I will not miss the walk of shame through the front door past the main office, mumbling excuses like, "Hubby's out of town."
I share the daily haul to school with my nanny, but those drop-offs and pickups become, well, a lot. So peace out, preschool drop-off. See you in September.
If you are anything like me, somehow as soon as a new school year begins, my calendar starts looking like a cupcake with too many sprinkles. Maybe I overeagerly sign up for too many committees and volunteer days that first month of school. It all sounds great in theory, but the amount of commitments that come along with having school-aged kids is other level. Then multiply that by the number of kids you have. Between mom's nights out, school socials, being snack mom, room mom, and simply arranging playdates, I feel busier than a New York socialite.
It's why we all love The Weekend, right? (Not him, he's cool too, but the actual weekend). Weekends feel unstructured. Sure, there's the occasional birthday party, baseball practice or dance recital, but usually, weekends are what we make of them. That's summer to me. Summer can be unstructured, lazy, cuddly, and slow. A "get out of bed at 9 a.m. and play in our backyard with no shoes, clothing optional, sipping lemonade" pace. Yesss.
I signed up for all those school activities for a reason. I love my kids' friends and their families! I love that school forces us to see each other daily, even for quick interactions at drop-off or pickup. I love mom's nights out and school socials and even going to read a book in my son's class (maybe because I swoop in, read, and swoop out till 3 p.m.). Either way, as summer ticks on, I really look forward to that sign-up day in September.
Once reality sets in and we've gotten a few of the easy breezy days under our belt, I quickly realize I'm no replacement for teachers, friends, a playground, and structure. Oh yeah, that.
My sweet, sometimes first-time-listening kiddos become little rule-bending, tantrum-throwing maniacs after about a week with no school. They want to eat chips for breakfast, they get bored and tell me how boring everything is, and they fight. With each other, with me. It's really fun. Cue my wine bottle popping at 4 p.m.
Yes, I said grid. I make a piecemeal schedule of half-day city camps, beach camps, sports camps. It all gets super confusing because my kids go to different camps on different days with different friends and at different times. Oh, and usually in opposite directions. I'm stressed just thinking about it.
The end of the school year triggers the sentimental part of my brain. The part that makes me burst into tears when Facebook pulls up a baby picture of my 5-year-old. I remember how small they seemed in September when I took that picture of them outside our front door, side by side, shoulders touching and holding makeshift signs saying how tall they are and what class they are entering. When June comes around, I know my boys are one year closer to not needing me. And that makes tears spring to my eyes and reminds me to cherish the crazy days, the lazy days and the "I can't handle today" days. Because I know all these days are fleeting. And I will hold onto all of them, awkwardly at times, as long as I can.