I sat in the kitchen holding the phone to my ear.
Of course, the moment I attempted to make a phone call the children piled into the kitchen with me. They were tattling on each other. Someone needed a snack. Someone needed something that they couldn’t find and only mommy could find it.
It’s my own fault, really. I brought it on myself the moment I picked up the phone.
It wasn’t even as if the call was for something pleasant. I had to pay a bill and I had to speak to a real person in order to do it. So, naturally, I was on hold, listening to terrible elevator music, sprinkled with intermittent advertisements.
A commercial cut through the music. A friendly voice saying, “Soon, the kids will be out of school for the summer. So please, drive carefully.”
I felt like it was talking to me, to all the moms out there.
Translation?: “Your kids are out of school and summer has just begun, moms, but please don’t drive your car into a telephone pole in a final act of desperation.“
I can do this, I thought.
I can do this summertime thing.
I really do enjoy having my children home with me. I honestly do. They love being home. I like having them here with me, just to hang out.
But that doesn’t mean that we all don’t occasionally get cabin fever or irritated by rainy days or have afternoons where we don’t want to look at each other’s faces anymore.
Yesterday was just our first full day of summer break together. Why do I feel like I aged about three years in the span of 12 hours?
I was exhausted by the time I sat down last night. Namely because it takes so much energy to exact large amounts of patience when dealing with children. Literally, that is why I was exhausted. I had to make my brain focus on being patient instead of throwing my cordless phone against the wall.
They are just being children, I thought. They can’t help that they can’t stand still in Target, or that they want one of each toy on the shelf. They can’t help that they walk slower than I walk. They can’t help that they want to stop and look at and touch everything. They can’t help that they’re hungry every two hours. They can’t help it that they get bored quickly.
They can’t help a lot of things.
But I can.
I feel no obligation to do it all this summer, or even in general. I am not doing extensive craft projects everyday. I am not driving them to fun-filled activities every day. I am not doing it ALL every.day.
BUT I do feel like I am a sizable piece to the summertime-fun puzzle. If there even is such a thing. Sometimes, the kids are crawling out of their skin and losing their grip on the day. They need someone to put them back on track. I have days where I need that, too. Hopefully, we can be that for each other.
I hope this summer that we do a lot of “nothing” together. I have found than when we decide together to do a lot of nothing, that’s when a whole lot of magical things start happening.
Every memory I have from growing up isn’t a milestone, once in a lifetime, moment for the ages.
It’s the car ride on the way to the movie theater. It’s the baby pool in the backyard. It’s squirt guns with the neighborhood kids. It’s Popsicles and watermelon for dinner. It’s sunburnt cheeks and jelly sandals on my feet.
It’s a lot of little stuff.
So, while I know that I’m going to be frustrated, because that is just what happens when you are dealing with children, I have decided that I am not going to be surprised by it. I have decided that trying to be patient is worth being tired over. Much more than running myself ragged, trying to fill our days with distractions.
I’d rather be tired giving my kids the best of me, than be tired from trying to provide the “best” for my children.
It’s summer. I can do this.
We can do this, moms.