Currently, I am sitting in a quiet house; there is no toddler or infant attached to my hip. I am not throwing snacks at an angry monster or trying to cart around kids in this terrible heat just to keep us all from getting stir-crazy in the house.
No, instead, I am here on my computer, uninterrupted, looking around my house, wondering if I should do something productive or just lounge and take advantage of the empty house to sit on the couch and watch all my true crime shows. You may be asking yourself, well, Jennifer, how did you manage this?
The truth is we are in such a new season I am playing catch up and realizing that things are starting to look very different around here, and it is all happening so fast!
A few years ago, we started the tradition of letting my mom take the kids for a week to attend her church VBS where both she and my step-dad volunteer. The kids absolutely love it, and they do so much with them over the week, like swim lessons and river trips, that the kids look forward to it all year. I was prepared for this, and my husband and I look forward to our week of time to just hang out and connect each summer.
But this summer has turned into something different.
This year not only are they attending what I like to call Grandma Summer Camp, but both kids are also attending an actual Summer camp at the end of July. Where they will be, with no electronics, staying overnight away from home at the same camp where I went as a kid for so many summers. I am so excited to share this memory with my kids, and for them to be the third generation to attend this particular camp!
But I’m also a little sad, and not sure what to do with the knowledge that our kids will be away almost as much as they will be home this summer!
Some of this is unavoidable, and honestly since I am starting my new big girl job at the end of the summer, the timing is perfect because they will be off having a ton of fun while I am working, and we won’t need to worry about childcare at home. But my momma’s heart also knows this is just the start of the changes for this year.
New job. New routine. Our last year of elementary for our oldest.
Summer camp is just the jumping off point for our changes coming up. I feel like a lot of tears are in my near future. The last few weeks, after getting off the phone with our kids at bedtime, my husband and I have marveled at how big our son suddenly sounds. Using sentences like “no mom, you continue with what you were saying…” when we both try to talk at the same time.
This can’t be the same kid who had tubes put in his ears because at 2 years old his speech was a little delayed and hard to understand. Or the same toddler carting around his baby blanket everywhere we went in order to be calm and happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying the big kid phase most days. They are so fun, and seeing them learn and explore being independent is just so fun! But I didn’t know it would hit this hard so suddenly! And I totally believe everyone should find a way to get a break, even if it is just for a few hours. I just didn’t realize while I was dreaming of a quiet house, one day I’d get here and think, man, I could use some of the old noise from before!
If you are still in the little stage, what do you hope to see when you hit the big kid phase? Do you have plans? For those past us, what advice can you offer, am I doing this right?
P.S. I just spent some of this quiet time rearranging and cleaning my son’s room, and when I was done, I realized how different it looks… suddenly the toys are tucked away, and it hit me again. I may or may not have sat down and cried for a while. Just so you know, you are not alone in the growing pains, momma!