It’s 18 degrees outside, but nothing is stopping me from breaking down the lights and calling the holiday season. There is a point at which a mere glance at ANY decoration still standing makes me itchy. Metaphorically speaking.
I love Christmas and all the beauty it brings, but seriously. Suddenly, those piles of extra things, half opened boxes, books, shoes lying around the house are my worst enemy.
And I just want my mantle back. Clean, almost bare. It’s the whole New Year thing. A fresh start. Nothing excluded.
I’m like a maniac, leaving no stone unturned. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Yes, yes and yes!
It’s going to be bone-chilling cold for the next 7 days in North Carolina. That means we will not see 40 degrees AT ALL. That’s what those newscasters are telling us. MIGHT get snow, so our lovelies are being released early from school today. They’ll be here in less than two hours. Can’t waste it. I’m heading to the living room, wiping down my mantle, pouring myself a cup of tea and sitting my tush on the couch with a book for the next hour. And maybe I’ll grab a 20 minute nap before the first one says “I’m hungry.”
It was a nonstop week/weekend. Just like every week these days. My friend, Amy, warned me years ago when I told her I was pregnant with my third child. “When you go from two to three kids, you’ll have days where you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with it,” she said. Or something like that. She was right.
I knew I’d be busier. And I was more than okay with that. Still am. Just more tired, dazed and often confused.
Flash forward eight years:
It’s Sunday night after a 4.5 hour high school band banquet. You can stick a fork in me. I’m done. Kaput. Brain has locked down.
Long gone are the days I was limited something short of house arrest. Those were busy, glorious days. “Shall we go to the park?” Organized playgroups, “Let’s make play-doh!” The list went on.
I’d collapse each night, tired to the bone, hoping to get a full night’s sleep before before Hank, the nursing champ called out. I thought of my old dog and the look on her face as her little pups scrambled to get the best spot on her teats(?). I could relate. Happy, but bone tired.
I remember thinking (and ok, fantasizing) it will be so different when they are off to school. I will miss them, but I’ll refuel and feel energized! I did a happy dance.
My children are older now and on the prowl. They need to be at different places at the same time almost everyday. I remember my sister-in-law, Jane warning me that it gets busier and busier the older they get: “You’ll be taking them here and there and everywhere and you will live in your car.” I thought she was crazy because I was already so busy with three children, all under seven. She knew I already had my hands full, but she was preparing and helping me understand what was to be.
At the time, I thought there’s nothing that could possibly compare. There were nap times to adhere to, planning meals, playdates, laundry that never ended and so much more.
But I get it now. It’s a different kind of busy. Teenage girls need moms who are tuned in. They watch, listen and will repeat. So you need to be on your game 24/7.
Then there’s the schedules. It’s no longer my schedule as much as it is their schedules. In fact, my schedule is their schedule now. There’s carpool, ballet, band, soccer, track & field, dropping off and picking up, the mall, the friends. I just follow the schedules. Until I collapse at the end of the week, hoping for a day off or even a few hours. I do get them, but I steal them like a weasel and hoard them like a squirrel. No one messes with Mom’s free moments. If they do….be prepared.
I don’t bite, but I do scowl.
And before I know it, they’ll be off to college and I’ll miss them terribly. Hindsight is so 20/20.