August hits me hard. It always has. Even before kids it was the time when summer ended and I returned to the school routine. Every year after the cottage I headed back to school to start getting in the groove. It was a time of fresh starts and new goals. Lately, I have had many moments where I step back and realize how lucky I am. I am finding moments that I appreciate that are small and simple. Like...
---Charley and Elly so excited over red Popsicles and taking them outside and sitting at the picnic table enjoying them while chatting up a storm.
---an afternoon play date with a good friend
---grocery shopping with just Henry and getting everything that was on my list.
---sitting on the curb finishing a really good book while the boys putter with outside toys.
---listening to laughter and watching my boys romp with their daddy. They are in heaven.
---unloading the dishwasher in the morning and looking over to my boys enjoying their breakfast. Henry might be picky but he is a determined eater.
---lunch on a blanket in our yard.
---watching Henry pick tomatoes from our garden.
---free car washes from the dealership - entertainment plus a clean car.
---trying a new recipe in the crockpot
---taking a moment to weed the front walk garden
---Henry climbing up on my lap at an out of the blue moment during the chaos of the day to rest his head on my chest and sigh.
These moments cause me pause and peace. I am realizing more often lately how precious my boys are and how quickly they are growing up. Ed has been working extremely hard lately and he does this to provide for us and I am so grateful that as he goes to work each day - I am able to stay home and love up our boys.
I do miss teaching, especially this time of year when friends are returning to their classroom, their personal passion. They are re-energized and ready for a new start, with a new group of miracles that they are gifted each fall to lead in their journey of learning. This was always my favorite time of the school year. Catching up with teacher friends I hadn't seen all summer, setting up my classroom, new plan books and new ideas, a list of students who have me wondering how these little people would interact, and the excitement of knowing they would become part of my family for this upcoming school year. I have found that I still find this time in August as a time when I feel antsy to organize, plan, and decorate....so I get out my calendar, start rearranging the house, and look for something new to add or change in the house, since I don't have a classroom to set up and lesson plans to start brainstorming. In the last week I think I have reorganized or cleaned out almost every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen. I am in the process of cleaning out my closet and dresser. And people think I am odd for coming up with silly activities to do with Charley, but that is a strength as a teacher and I can't turn it off. I love it. So fall will be filled with fun.
I also find that in August I start to set goals...it is my new year. Even though I am not teaching, the school calendar is ingrained and so important to me. It is a time of year to start fresh.
Having spent the last two school years at home I now wonder how I would manage it if I were to choose to go back to working and being a mom. I know I could do it because I did it once. I appreciate just focusing on my family but I also miss the part of me that was "Mrs. first grade teacher". I do believe that it added a personal happiness that was all mine. I will go back. I will be ready and passionate to start again. Meanwhile, I will appreciate all that is and relish each day as my boys quickly grow up. August is my Happy New Year!