It didn’t dawn on me until last week, just as I was planning what we would do as a family the night of Bee’s birthday. The one that’s on June 30th. June. 30th. The last day of June. As in: the day before July.
Every other year I have counted down until July. I’ve counted days, weeks, even counted down the months sometimes when my sanity was holding on by the tiniest of threads. I love my children and I have always loved having them in my house (yes, even when they were two and four and studiously woke me at 6 a.m. every weekend), but having that month off from the Up-and-Down Bedtime Brigade and Shower Monitor and Arbiter of Constant Arguments gave me a chance to recharge. To be me. To have five flippin’ minutes all to myself.
This year, though, I didn’t realize July was here until…well, until it was. Maybe it’s because this year I have 80 zillion other distractions going on in my life, most of them delightfully wonderful. Maybe it’s because this year we’re in the middle of a Wednesday-Night-at-Dad’s-House sleepover trial and so I get a taste of sanity every week. Mostly I think it’s that my girls are 11 and 9 and that’s a far cry from 4 and 2. (Or at least 11 and 9 sips on your sanity in very different – liveable! – ways.)
It’s not that I don’t love not having to wrangle two grumpy girls through a morning routine, or taking the “easy” way to work, or worrying about being home by a certain time. I still enjoy all of the freedom. It’s just a different sort of deep breath this year. Right now I’m not all BLAH!ing that a week is already gone; I’m sad that the girls won’t be home this weekend to play with Xander and make us laugh at their antics. I don’t know…I think this means 9 and 11 are my favorite ages yet. And that my kids are growing up into awesome people.
It’s certainly because I appreciate them more, that’s for dang sure.
So live it up, July. [Heh. I typed “love it up, July”, and that fits, too.] Knock yourself out. I won’t wish away the days. But my heart will be very happy when August rolls around and my girls are back, filling the empty spaces our family is certainly feeling.