I had a mini-meltdown yesterday.
With two days left until school starts, and the kids on top of each other (and me), I had a momentary freak out.
I had allowed myself to feel overwhelmed and I was focusing (or maybe more like obsessing) on all the wrong things.
And I had almost convinced myself that I wasn’t going to make it.
In turn, I was not the mom I wanted to be yesterday.
This was made crystal clear last night when I put Number 6 to bed.
I knew it was coming.
Of all the kids, Number 6 dislikes school the most.
And we have had a really nice summer. One of the best summers ever, actually.
Number 6 had a really bad case of the summer-is-almost-over blues last night.
He asked me to lie down with him because he was having a really hard time managing his thoughts. He couldn’t think about anything positive regarding school.
He could only think about how much fun summer has been, and how much NOT fun school will be.
We are coming off of a two-week vacation in North Carolina.
It was awesome.
And Number 6 got to spend lots of time with Number 3, and they had a blast together.
And so I thought about this last night as I lay next to Number 6.
I thought about how I’ve been telling other adults how much I’m looking forward to my kids going back to school.
I’ve said this in front of the kids. More than once.
And then I thought about the kids and how they are feeling.
But especially how Number 6 is feeling.
If a really, really fun period of time in my life was ending and someone else — my mom in particular — was talking about how happy she was about it in front of me, well…
I could see how that’s kinda jerky.
I mean, all good things come to an end, and the kids wouldn’t appreciate the fun stuff if there was never any not fun stuff and life isn’t just one big vacation and the kids need to learn this and disappointment is vital and all that.
And it’s totally okay for me to need some breathing room and a break from the kids and it’s totally okay for me to be looking forward to getting into a new routine and to have time — uninterrupted blocks of time where there are no kids around to distract/disturb/derail me — to get things done.
But I can have some compassion about it.
I can be understanding.
I was understanding last night after 9 pm.
I was not so understanding before that.
Maybe this moment of enlightenment comes now because school starts tomorrow and some relief is so close.
Maybe lying down with Number 6 last night and taking some time to think gave me some clarity.
Either way, I am going to do my best to make today a day where I put myself in my kids’ shoes. A day where I am sensitive to how Number 6 is feeling.
I won’t gloat. I won’t make any sarcastic remarks to other grown ups while the kids are within earshot.
And I’ll remember that I have 41 more years of practice managing my emotions than Number 6 does. And even with all that practice, I still have a long way to go. I had a really hard time with it yesterday!
Number 6 could use some help and some patience and some understanding.
And some extra hugs.
I love my kids.
I’m also really looking forward to a break from them tomorrow.
But I don’t want to send them off to school with a smell-ya-later-losers-sucks-for-you bon voyage.
Because while I know for sure I will appreciate all the alone time alone tomorrow, I know as soon as the last kid gets on the bus and I walk inside to a quiet and still and empty house and figure out just how exactly how I want to use the glorious, uninterrupted hours I have lying ahead of me, there is also going to be a part of my who misses the noise and the chaos and the energy and thinks,
I kinda wish we all just had one more day together.