Sunday, July 31, 2016

Unsucessful Denial

It's the last day of July?! WHAT HAPPENED. ??!!??!!!?????

Gah. Can't deal with that trauma. Won't even think about it another second. Onward. Denial, you know? It works. For awhile.

Actually, I have done (most of) the girls' school supply shopping. (Why do we always forget at least one item on the school list, why?????? Maybe because the list is so long and the font is so small?????) Oh God, remember the Flair pen??? Thank God there are no Flair pens on the list this year.

I know. It's CRAZY. I bought the school supplies in July. (Recall that in MN, school does not start until the day after Labor Day. Hence, school shopping in July is crazy early.) This would seem to contradict the notion that I am in denial regarding the fact that summer is 2/3 over. However, I have learned to do it early so as to then put it out of one's mind for longer. Of course, there is still the backpack shopping, and the shoe shopping, and the clothes shopping, so..... never mind.

In another contradiction of the theory that I (successfully) practice denial when it comes to summer's fleetingness, lately I have become beset with paralyzing attacks of grief regarding my past autumns as a full-time stay-at-home mom. More specifically, I recently realized that I only had 1-1/2 years of sending my daughters to all-day school while remaining a full-time SAHM. (I started working part-time at my girls' school halfway through Genevieve's 2nd-grade year, then moved to full-time the following fall.) I only experienced two Septembers (those glorious, sun-drenched, still-warm days of early fall!) of sending the kids back to school and then reaping the blissful productivity of full autumn days at home---time to preserve the farm produce, time to clean the closets, time to run during the day and grocery shop and manage the children's and the household's myriad needs, time to bake homemade breads and cookies and pies and full dinners!

Just two times this happened. This makes me so, so sad. I miss those days terribly. I miss having time to get so much done, I miss not feeling like a frantic hamster running on a wheel but never getting anywhere. I miss the more relaxed pace of my life back then--coupled with, at the same time, a better handle on family projects and my kiddos' needs. In my mind, I think I felt like I was home forever, maybe because there was pressure to get out there and contribute financially to the family. But honestly, there was only a year and a half that I was home with both children in full-day school. That's not very long in the grand scheme of family life and parenthood.

And honestly, as I've said many times, I do love my job at the school. If it paid even half a living wage, it would be the PERFECT JOB for me, as far as jobs go. My first full-time year, I literally never once missed being home full-time, never once regretted working. However, by midway through last year--when, I guess, the novelty was wearing off and the sense of being constantly behind on everything at home was increasing with each passing month--my work-BFF and I had begun sniffling together on our afternoon breaks about our past SAHM lives and how much we felt that role was our true calling and what our families truly needed.

So, it's hard. I love that school, those kids, my co-workers, my supervisor, the schedule, the work. But I still pine for those two lost Septembers, and I try really hard not to notice how fast the summer weeks go.

In other, less depressing news, my Elin Hilderbrand obsession continues. I'm on book six now. (The Rumor, Barefoot, The Matchmaker, The Island, Summerland, Silver Girl.) Thank God she's so prolific. I can feed my addiction for months to come! Hurrah. At least I can live in permanent summer via E.H. novels.

And as for now? I've planning Genevieve's 10th birthday (already! gah! August!), I'm taking the girls on day trips here and there and to all their activities (including Tae Kwon Do, where they both earned their brown belts and BROKE THEIR FIRST BOARDS this month, omg), I'm scheduling my pre-school-year work trainings (no comment; or rather, see above for numerous comments) and the girls' pediatrician well-checks, I'm running when it's not 92 degrees, I'm hosting playdates and eating ice cream cones and listening to the birds sing outside my patio door.

August is lush. The corn is high. The flowers are electric pink and red and yellow. Focus on that.

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