We’ve been back to school cool for a week now so that means tomorrow is my 2nd Monday (ugh!) and today I’m experiencing my 2nd case of “Sunday Night Blues.” Do you feel like this too?
Don’t get me wrong — I love my job!! I really, truly do but for some reason, by late Sunday afternoon this feeling of anxiety/nervousness/dread starts creeping into my belly and spreading through me faster than I can will it to stop. I think it’s because I start to plan the week ahead — our meals, our activities, our meetings, my lesson plans and I wonder if I can get it all done. If I can be enough for everyone.
This week was especially more emotional than usual because my daughter has entered the high school — yikes!!! I can’t believe it! I know everyone says they grow up so fast but they do. They really, really do and I’m a blubbering fool when I have to talk about it. The tears have been flowing more rapidly than usual. To top it off, this weekend we tore down our kids’ playhouse that my talented FIL made for us 12 years ago. It was starting to rot so we needed to practically rebuild it from the ground up (the floor had rotted through) or realize that no one was playing in it anymore and tear it down. All of these things — my daughter entering 9th grade, the playhouse coming down, is too much for this momma and is making this Sunday especially melancholy.
I wonder what the girls are talking about while eating their lunch. Maybe how one day they would grow up and cause their mommas to panic thinking that soon they will leave us and go to college?? Insert sobs here. (This picture is from 2005 before we painted our house from yellow to its current blue-green.)
The playhouse was the center of many of our long days of play. It housed at one time or another a kitchen set, table and chairs, workbench replete with kiddie tools, books, art supplies, Barbies and baby dolls.
It also was the destination for the John Deere Gator. Our back yard is teeny, tiny — 1/4 acre but thank goodness our kids had the Gator to drive them to and from our back porch. This picture is especially tear inducing on this Sunday night because it includes our dog Scout, the smartest dog in the universe. Not really, but before we had kids, that was his frequent tagline. After kids, the poor guy was lucky to get a walk. Having 2 kids within 2 years caused this momma to be a perpetual zombie and my memory of those precious years is definitely cloudy. But Scout was a good dog and we miss him. Look how much my 2 oldest love each other on this carefree, popsicle eating day! I bet I was a good mom that day. I bet I was fun and productive and never yelled once! Maybe I can get them to hug tonight?
So now this is what the playhouse looked like on Saturday morning before our work crew dismantled it.
It has seen better days. Hell, this looks a lot like me today after this week.
My boys weren’t sad to see it go. One said he’d have more room to hit his golf balls and the other said our kickball field would be bigger. And, my daughter wasn’t even home! She had attended her 1st Friday night football game as a 9th grader in the student section and went to a sleepover after. But when she came back shortly after lunch she said, “Mom, you’ve had a rough week. You’ve had to handle me going into the high school and now this.” And guess what I did next? I cried. Yep. Cue the tears.
So that’s why this Sunday night feels a little extra gloomy to me. My kids are growing up and I’m back at school working and I’m worrying about the things that I’m missing. And we no longer have a playhouse in the backyard.
How am I going to fill that space in my backyard and in my heart?
All you moms out there of older kids, how did you do it? How do you let your kids grow up?
My sister has a philosophy about this very subject, and it goes something like this. When our babies are born, they have their little cherub — like faces, with the rosy cheeks, the wide, bright eyes and the turned — up smiles. We make that eye contact with them, bringing on the mothering hormones that make us want to do everything we can to coddle and take care of them. As they get older, especially senior high age, the gazing into their eyes turns more into disagreements and butting of heads, and the turned — up smiles can turn into the occasional (sometimes frequent) comments that go against our guidance and, let’s face it, common sense. All we can do is continue to do our best to guide them, treat them like their age, and gradually let them go. As Crosby, Nash and Stills sang, ” You can sigh, and know they love you.”
I’m a blubbering mess over the playhouse, a perennially sight in the welcoming back yard. It will take a while to get used to looking into the corner and only noting it’s absence. Over time, new memories will take its place-home coming dance pics and flag football games.