I’ve been counting down to this day since school let out on May 30th. I’ve been anticipating it with the excitement and joy of a child at Christmas time. It has loomed, getting closer every day, until I thought I might burst from the anticipation. And now that it’s here, I’m euphoric. Giddy even!
It’s the first day of school and I have the next six hours to myself. Other mothers are snapping pictures of their kids on the first day of school. Not me. It’s just hugs and kisses and, “Have a great day, learn lots, I love you!” No pictures – I’m practically skipping out of the school, nary a feeling of guilt or sadness, just pure relief. Does that make me the world’s worst mother or what?
I mean, truly, what mother relishes this day? For most, from what I’ve observed, it’s a bittersweet day but for me it has always been one of relief and excitement. Not just for myself, mind you. It’s a chance for them to learn things I cannot teach them. I would have no idea how to teach my child the alphabet or how to count to 1oo. My patience is about the size of a gnat – teaching isn’t my forte. I could no more homeschool my child than I could teach myself how to breath under water without scuba gear. Add to that the fact that I pick up on everything with seemingly impossible ease and I just can’t help people who don’t understand things as intuitively as I do. The only area I really struggle in is math.
But there must be something wrong with me that I feel like a prisoner who has been set free. I can read. I can sleep. No arguing or whining. No bored children. Their minds will be stimulated, they will have the chance to play and exercise, get a couple healthy(ish) meals, and come home (hopefully) worn out and compliant. Their little minds and bodies, so full of boundless energy, will be sufficiently tired and content even.
Next year, we’re investing in summer camp to save my sanity. I’m not a nurturing person by nature – children quite literally baffle me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children. I would lay down my life for them and never hesitate. But I never really had a chance to be a child – I was old by the time I was 10. I had already seen a lifetime of tragedy. By my 30’s I had lived through more tragedy and trials than most people see in a lifetime. So identifying with children isn’t just hard for me, it’s damn near impossible.
This summer was brutal. I’m trying to study for my real estate license with a 7 year old and an 8 year old at home full time. I made it to chapter 17 but I have no idea how much of it I retained. Some of it, I’m sure I simply added to my general knowledge, some of it I already knew. But considering I still have six more books to go through, that’s not great progress in 3 months. Now I can buckle down and focus. Today, I will definitely be luxuriating in this incredible feeling of freedom. Next week, when my sleep deprived mind protests getting up at 6 a.m. every day and going to bed around midnight, I might not be quite so elated. But for now, I’m thrilled! First day of school! Yay!
Anyone else feel the same? Or, do you think I’m just crazy as batshit? I’d love to hear your thoughts about summer and motherhood.