My eyes burned from exhaustion. The kids were bundled up in blankets watching Netflix already and it was barely 7am.
There are just a few more days of school. Summer is barreling toward us. My daughter is eight years old and this fall she’ll begin third grade, which feels unbelievable. Wasn’t I just fretting on my old blog about her entry into elementary school?
Now it’s my son who is closing in on that milestone. Thanks to a November birthday, he has one more year of preschool, for which I’m grateful. One more year until both my kids are in full-time school. That is the dream. The light at the end of the tunnel, my writing time opening like a dam being lifted.
Hours of quiet pouring in. An empty house. It’s what I claim to want, what I do want, and yet, I know it will come at a cost to my heart. The passage of time always does, especially as it relates to my children.
I don’t want to hurry away the hours of summer, wishing, waiting, biding my time – but the struggle to write is real. I’ve been rising early for almost a month now, #writinglikeamother every day. It’s been life changing. If I can get in an hour or more of solitude and work, I am a better mother for the rest of the day. A happier person. The problem seems to be when I don’t.
Like yesterday. Up at 5:40am I was so tired I considered going back to sleep until I heard my daughter’s thundering footsteps in the hall. I crept out of bed carefully, so as not to wake my nighttime visitor, my son, and handed her my phone before heading downstairs. In my mind I’m pleading, please stay in your room until 7, please don’t wake up your brother.
Of course my wishes were not granted.
I slammed down my coffee and dashed upstairs to my son’s cries and my daughter popped out of her room like a jack-in-the-box.
My mood was grumbly. I felt frayed and irritable. Angry, that my time was interrupted.
This is what I feared when I made the commitment to early risings, but life with kids is never predictable. Things change. It’s the one thing you can count on. The only thing.
What I need to do is adjust, adapt. To accept the inevitability of shortened writing sessions, and to be grateful for the ones that last.
When it happened again today, I cursed (more quietly) before running up the stairs. I made jokes about their early rising instead of threats. I put on the rest of The Sound of Music and let myself fall between my babies as we watched, using the computer to pull up a map of Europe so I could show my curious daughter the proximity of Switzerland to Austria as we watched the von Trapp children sing and hike across the Alps to freedom.
Things will be quiet on the blog over the summer, for obvious reasons. I have big goals that I will try not to stress over, like filming lessons for my upcoming grief course, working on my memoir, and living my life.
The summer will fly by, as always, and I want to make sure I’m fully present for all of it, not simply wishing the time away. That will happen on its own, soon enough.
Hope we all have the summers we want, or at least the grace to surrender peacefully to the ones we end up having.
See you in the fall!