… I’ll go first.
The house is a mess from its inhabitants constantly running in and out of it; only staying long enough to inhale a quick snack from the cabinet or sleep, and then wake up to repeat the process.
Laundry is in various stages of “done.” Baskets filled with unfolded clothes litter the house. Dirty or clean? Your guess is as good as ours.
Swimming goggle tan lines adorn the small faces of each of my children and eluded to many hours at the pool (and two out of three kids passing this years swimming lessons PRAISE JESUS). If you close your eyes and inhale deeply in the laundry room, you’ll swear you’re at the pool based on the scent of chlorine lingering in the towels and swim suits that have yet to be folded and put away.
Meanwhile, my own tan lines tell the story of a mom who lives in flip flops and a much more modest swim suit than the person she was 20 years ago would’ve ever approved of.
The children have begun to fight just for the sport of it. You can tell because every time you go to break up a fight, they’re suppressing their urges to laugh and you begin to wonder if they’ve turned a corner and are now plotting against you instead of each other. The thought of it actually makes you smile a little because, hey, at least they’ve finally found an activity they can enjoy together. Sibling bonding is valuable, no matter how it comes about.
You don’t quite remember what you used to live on before ballpark food and quick snacks eaten on the way to baseball games. You’ve spent more time with the team and their parents and siblings than anyone else this summer and you’ve formed your own small gang. It takes a village, and you’re grateful for yours. Especially for the mom who always comes equipped with the bandaids and suckers for the little kids.
The summer math and reading work that your kids brought home on the last day of school sits in an undisturbed pile next to the weeks worth of junk mail you have yet to toss, waiting to be attended to. Sorry teachers. Our good intentions died with our patience in early June. With any luck, the kids will get tired of fighting with each other and decide to crack a book sometime near the beginning of August.
You’re ready for school to start again because you (and the kids, although they would never admit it) crave the structure and routine, but you’re not quite ready for each of the kids to move up a grade. You wish you could bottle these long days and crazy, rushed evenings because you know that even though you’re losing your mind right now, you’ll miss it once the house quiets down in August. You know this is your last summer with each of your kids at this age, and that these are the “good old days” you’ll look back on in the years to come.