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I have seen a glimpse into my future. Oddly, it looks a lot like my past.
When we signed Samuel up for PreK, we had a hard time deciding how often to send him. Finally we settled on two half days. The prospect of school didn’t excite him at all and since it would be his first ‘real’ school experience, we didn’t want to overwhelm him.
Fast forward to the present. School began with nary a tear. In fact, on the second day he was disappointed to see me at 11:30 because he wanted to stay the entire day. After a brief chat with Eric, we decided we’d let him try. The afternoon, while still structured, has less of an academic focus, and instead allows the kids more time to play, have a rest time, etc. Samuel loved it! He is officially going to school two full days a week.
On the days that both boys are in school, Annelise and I are adapting to being home alone. The first day went by pretty quickly. We played all morning, enjoying the one on one time that we don’t often get, and then I put her down for her nap and experienced something that I hadn’t experienced in over two years.
I was alone. All afternoon. It was exciting and strange and freeing and quiet. So quiet. I sat down and ate without interruption. I got up and cleaned without interruption. The things I cleaned stayed clean (well, at least while she was still sleeping and the boys were still at school). I began to think of all the things I could accomplish in these few hours of aloneness each week.
The second time Samuel stayed at school all day though, the morning seemed to drag. We went for a walk, we played outside, we played inside. I looked at the clock and it was only 10 am. We were a little bored. We missed the boys. And when nap time came I found myself less productive. I wasted time that could have been spent getting something accomplished. I was really happy to see the boys when they got home and I even enjoyed the noise and chaos that filled the house again.
Here’s the thing: Those two days of Samuel being gone have made me realize what I’m heading for. Next year he’ll be in school five full days and Annelise and I will be on our own all week. It’ll be like going back to the time when I only had Eli. And then before I know it, Annelise will start school too. I don’t know where I’ll be at that point, working from home or working outside the home, but I do know that during the day, the house will be like it was before I had kids (just with a whole lot more stuff than before!)
My house has been full and loud and messy for what seems like forever, but has really only been a few short years as my kids have been small. As I move into this new phase and see where it leads us, I’m beginning to truly grasp not only how fleeting these years are, but also just how much will change as the kids grow. I may get tired of how all-consuming this stage is, but I’ll miss it like crazy when it’s over.
So for now, I’ll continue to adapt to our new schedule. I’ll enjoy my moments of one-on-one Annelise time and I’ll enjoy my moments of solitude two afternoons a week. But I’ll dive a little deeper into the moments when I have a full house, knowing that those days are numbered. I’ll try to be less stressed by the chaos and enjoy it for what it is…
A houseful of kids and a house full of love.
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And now the part of the post where I share pictures of our real, everyday life.
How does this happen??
On our first solo day, Annelise dressed in this and asked, “I show Daddy?” She wasn’t thrilled when showing Daddy meant sending him a picture message. Next time we’ll have to hop in the car and drive to his work.
Samuel was playing in the water and decided to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. None of my kids enjoy getting water on their face, so I was pretty surprised.
Have a great week and remember to keep it real!