It hasn't even been a full week and I need a vacation from the vacation.
The girls are doing some mini camps this week; a few activities that I think they will enjoy. Sometimes I'm right, most of the time, not so much. Mo is enrolled in a 5 day lacrosse camp, just 2 hours a day. Yes, it's summer. Yes, it's hot. To hear her tell it, you'd think she's one of those Temple of Doom kids, working in the mines instead of outside, growing strong and confident in her athleticism. Trying to explain concepts like "privilege", "fortunate" and "gratitude" without staging a full on after-school special is challenging.
Several posts ago, I mentioned that I was going to try to not over-commit. Aside from the couple of activities that were already on the calendar, I was looking forward to just taking it one day at a time and seeing where the highways and bi-ways of the River City took us. We haven't got much beyond the circuitous route of home-YMCA-home-library-home-swim practice-home.
Somewhere in the back of my head, I thought that if I had a less regimented summer schedule, I could be one of those parents that just throws the kids, some snacks, and a devil-may-care attitude into the car to spend the day exploring.
But I'm not that kind of mom. I'm pretty sure I'm hardwired against being that kind of mom. I don't think I have those kinds of kids either, primarily because I'm not that kind of mom. We get in the car and it's a Battle Royale of who will sit where, who is touching whose book/leg/seatbelt, and why there aren't any snacks (No, Mom, I mean good snacks).
Smiling faces, excited faces rolling along the road. It's a fun fantasy to entertain.
And yet. . .
The sun is shimmying down below the horizon tonight as we wheel up the driveway from swim practice. The girls are crabby and water-logged. The baby is a 20 lb. red welt from where the mosquitoes have taken nibble after nibble on her irresistible thighs and arms. The coffee that powered me through the after-lunch lull is dragging me to the finish line of the bedtime routine.
They'll be fed. They'll wash and dry. They'll put on their pj's inside-out or backwards and simply shrug when I point it out. Nature's Vitamin D coupled with the sheer fact of being 7, 5, and 1 will wring them out like sodden washcloths. They'll resist bed, as is their role. I'll insist on it, as is mine. I'll tuck them in, and re-tuck when they get up for one more book or one last trip to the toilet. The lights will go out, though the sun will still peer through the blinds, an all-seeing eye.
In the twilight of the day, I'll sit outside with a sweating glass of water and think about how to re-calibrate things. How to change my attitude? How to change theirs? Can we be free-wheeling and foot-loose, traveling down the road, sharing snacks, busy-bags and memories?
I don't know, but I'm certainly going to try.