Tonight is the last night of my summer vacation. Tomorrow, I’ll shower early, actually dry my hair, dig something other than a t-shirt out of my closet, swipe on some mascara & lip gloss, grab a clean outfit for C and take him over to his daycare. I’m hoping he doesn’t cry “Mama! No!” as he realizes I’m walking out the door of Nicole’s house, but I am guessing that will be the reality. And then I’ll get in my van and drive the 18 miles to work while listening to Van & Bonnie broadcast live from the State Fair.
In some ways, I’m ready for tomorrow. Honestly, there have been more than a few days where I’ve wished for the school year to be here. Actually, it’s mostly just wishing for the routine. In my old age, I’ve realized that I like schedules. I like routine. I like knowing when I will wake up and when I will go to bed and how many hours I have to accomplish (or procrastinate) on a task. I like that my job is scheduled, yet different every day. I’m never bored and never lack things to do. I rarely do the same thing two days in a row—and it keeps me hopping.
And while I have love love loved being home with C this summer, I have to admit that entertaining a toddler from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm (naptime) and then again from 3:00pm to 8:00 pm (bedtime) –that’s 11 hours of daily un-interrupted Mama/ Charlie time people!—well this can get a little…tiring/ challenging/ boring each day.
But today, I kept thinking, “This is our last summer day buddy!” and I tried to savor every minute of it. In some small way, I think C sensed this because he was super cuddly and affectionate (even more than usual). Aside from a tiny (and predictable) morning fit, he was such a happy camper today—making it that much harder for tomorrow to come.
And looking back on our summer, I’m really happy with how it went. Of course I would have loved to have more time to sleep in, play in my yard, swim laps outside, or get my road bike out on the highway but I’m realizing that those things might just be on hold for a few years. Instead, I spent my summer:
- Waking up early
- Peeling Cheerios off the floor
- Packing snacks into Tupperware
- Wiping dirty faces
- Going on walks
- Playing in the sink
- Swimming with an inflatable turtle
- Changing (lots of) diapers
- Cutting grapes in half. And then in half again b/c I’m paranoid of choking.
- Playing pee-a-boo
- Reading board books
- Trying to find decent lunch options
- Telling the dog “no no” (and subsequently teaching C that this is the only thing we say to dogs)
- Giving “horsey rides”
- Playing at parks
- Giving baths
- Visiting the library
- Listening to bandstand music
- Going to playdates
- Visiting out-of-town friends
- Going to the zoo
I did not get our basement organized, or finish a bunch of knitting projects, or draw illustrations for a children’s book, or read tons of professional literature. I didn’t get back in shape or resume my love of yoga. Instead, I hung out with a toddler (and a big, annoying, sweet, slobbery dog) And while the list of things I did could actually go on for pages of “mundane” and “non-productive” things, I have a really satisfied feeling. I am grateful that I had these moments to spend with C. I feel lucky to have been given all summer with him—and even though he won’t remember the way we spent our days, I’m pretty sure they are memories that I’ll never forget. And just when I get a little misty eyed about going back to work, I nudge myself into remembering that I have the best of both worlds. After a morning of work tomorrow, I get to scoop up C from daycare at 12:30 and love him up until bedtime. Now I can live with that.