School is officially out and has been for a week now and we are adjusting. My son has dreamed of this day, and now that it’s here, and reality has set in, I wonder if he longs for school start again? Or is it me who longs for school to start again????? The thing is, McCartney hates the unstructured world. He wants to know today, tomorrow, and a week from now. If I could tell him the future, even better. Ana, on the other hand, would rather be lost every moment of every day and I am sure wishes that calendars and dates were not real. I fall somewhere in the middle. If I don’t have a to do list or agenda, I could easily lose a day lost in my dreams, writing a story, or taking pictures, with the tasks of life not getting done. Needless to say, this past week has not been easy, as us three different personalities are getting used to being together ALL DAY everyday, trying to figure out our new world.
The first few days my son needed a schedule. He wouldn’t admit it, but he constantly asked, “What’s next? What can I do?” He followed me around, wondering what to do, refusing to play, not wanting to read, and mad that I would not just let him play video games all day. Ana and I have existed without a set schedule for 10 months, so this new demand for times, dates, places, constant need for attention was really hard and draining. Finally, by Tuesday, I came up with a bunch of activities for our family to do together to keep us nice and busy. That is when my son informed me that he should not have to spend his summer vacation “doing my work for me.” That is when I took many deep breaths in and out over and over. I wanted to cry, I wanted a job, I wanted to be Scott. Since none of those things could happen, somehow I got through it. I made a chore list for each child and informed them that being in a family means that we keep the house together. Some things we get an allowance for and others we do because we live in our house. Once the chore charts and schedules were made and official, my son accepted that and life in that moment felt better.
Then at noon, Daddy walked in the door informing us that he was home for the day, the kids cheered, the mood lightened, and you would think David Ortiz himself walked through our door. In that moment, I loved and hated Scott. All morning I was evil making the kids work, mind, and get along. All Scott has to do is walk through the door and the kids cheer???? Seriously? It has been that way for years, I swallow it, but it still hurts. (My whole feelings about the kids’ adoration for my husband is another blog post)
Anyway, along comes Wednesday. McCartney has adjusted to summer. He loves our schedule, routine, and chores. His world is in sync. I am feeling like a great mom. Life is good. We start the day by a jog around the lake. It’s 8am, cool, sunny with a light breeze, in other words, the weather is perfect. We start running. The kids laugh, play, I jog. I feel good. Ah. Half way around, Ana rebels. “I hate this! I don’t want to do this!” She stops and WILL NOT MOVE. At this point, there is nothing I can do. I am frustrated AGAIN. I want to yell, go to work, be Scott, be anywhere than in another power struggle with a child. So I do what I do best at the lake. I put on my headphones, and run. I leave her behind. Eventually, she comes. We finish our exercise and make it twice around the lake, but not as a team, but as 3 individuals. I am disappointed, but oh well, we made it. Ana spent the rest of the morning rebelling against our schedule, but she eventually chilled out and Thursday was a little better. I have hope for Friday, and maybe next week will be even better.
At the end of the day, I wish our transition was easier and not so frustrating. I wish we were more excited for this together time. Deep down I am sure I wish the kids were just like me and wanted to do the things I want to do, but I am sure the kids are wishing the same things about me. I have learned some neat things about my kids this week. One, McCartney can be flexible: once you set the schedule, he can agree to change it. Two, Ana, who hates schedules and routines is LOVING, I mean LOVING crossing her chores off her to do list each day and her room has never been cleaner. There is hope for my Type A and Type B after all! Three, it’s great to have the kids around all summer. They are keeping me focused, on task, and giving me plenty to do. I didn’t realize how much I missed them, until this past week. To summer, may you be long and warm, but not too long.