Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I hate summer vacation.

Let me be really clear up front (since I am, after all, writing unmasked):
  1. I LOVE my kids.
  2. I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom.
  3. I really, really, really LOVE my kids.

I hate summer vacation.

It's hot out, so it's draining to go outside and play.

It's hot out, so it's exhausting to take half an hour to walk around the neighborhood.

The kids want to watch TV all the time, which I could do, but really, I can only take so much Swan Princess or VeggieTales or Lion King or Bob & Larry's Christmas Song Sing-a-long.  Plus, they should be exercising their imaginations, not sitting on their butts and staring at the TV.

We have one car.  If I want to go do something, like take them to the community pool, I have to take my husband in to work, and then go back and pick him up later.  It's only a mile or so from the church to the house, but when it's hot enough to make you wilt as soon as you open the door, who wants to walk home for a mile in that?

When does school start again?

(Please, do not remind me that, once school starts again, I will be gnashing my teeth and begging for summer because I can't wrap my head around kindergarten and second-grade math.)

Hubby is a youth pastor, and so he does have a small amount of flexibility in his schedule, and he can come home in a pinch, but I try not to pinch him like that too often.  He has a job he loves, for which I'm grateful.  He has a fabulous boss and a great ministry assistant.  I love them for the support that they give him, and the fact that they let him be a husband and daddy when he needs to be.

But being at home with three little girls, day in, day out, who are only sixteen months apart in age from oldest to middle and a whopping minute from middle to youngest, is exhausting.

Large and Medium Fries like to play together and enjoy playing together, and Small Fry plays well by herself.

The hiccups come in when Large and Medium deliberately exclude Small from their play when she wants to join in, or when Large and Medium think that Small needs their help to play, and she doesn't.

By the time I get to the end of the day, I'm wiped out, and all I can see is another day of insanity looming on the horizon.

Our family has had a rocky couple of months.  Two months ago, Hubby and I made the difficult decision to put our 14-year-old cat to sleep.  Po was well-loved, both by us and by the Fries.  The fact that she had terminal cancer only somewhat mollified the ache in our hearts.  Medium in particular loved Po a lot.  She had lived with Po for only four years.  Hubby and I had had her for fourteen.  There's nothing worse, as a parent, than watching your child in pain and not being able to assuage it or fix it.  I'd never felt so lost.

We hit a financial crunch, because I got laid off from my job, and then the child support that helps to supplement our income went on hiatus for five weeks.

And last week, we said goodbye to another of our cats, 13-year-old Keiki, who I had desperately hoped would make it to fourteen.

Summer is rough.  I'm waging a one-woman war and I feel like I'm losing before I'm barely out of the gate.

I'm mixing my metaphors, too.

Hubby leaves in the morning for a nine-day mission trip with his youth group.

I arranged for a teen not going on the trip to pop over and kitty-check for the next nine days.

The Fries and I are packing off to Gramma and Boppa's, where I hope I'll enjoy a bit of a breather from normal, some adult company and conversations, and perhaps some balm for my heartaches.

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