Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunshine and meltdowns

On the Sunday before school starts up again after the two week winter break, we head out to one of our favorite LA spots for some last minute sun and beauty. What a wonderful reminder of a place we've visited many many carefree times over the past five years. 

It's been an interesting two week holiday break from school, full of sickness, a lovely house guest, cold/rainy weather, holiday cheer, playing playing playing, and lowered expectations (but, in a good way). And, for the first time, my kids joined the universal experience of the back-to-school dread. It's not like they can't stand school, after all, they talked about school and classmates every day, but the end of break symbolizes the giving up of free time and the comforts of home. Been there, done that.

I remember how the worst is the end of summer. I'd be upset for the whole week before school starts, like "how can the summer be over? It just started?! Nooooooo!!!". I understand the feeling all too well, so I totally sympathize with my new little students. I comfort them, being very positive and relating to them, all the while reliving my own childhood back-to-school emotions. And, it's not like it ends once you are out of school. We get to experience it every week on Sunday. Yea! But, it's certainly worse for kids because they have much more fun than we do. They get Playmobil and dirt. We get laundry, errands, and bills. 

What's interesting was that Quinn completely melted down the day before school started while Talia was all smiles and "couldn't wait to go to school!!!", but then she waited until the evening of the first day back crying "I don't want to go back to school!!!". Either way, they both expressed the same anxiety and I totally get it. However, I feel a bit conflicted. I miss and love love love my very own personal time while they are school, even if it's spent working or cleaning. But, on the other hand, I wish we had more time together, just like they do, to visit and play at our favorite local spots. I miss our leisurely play dates, beautiful crowd-free hiking spots, and hours in the pool. And, their meltdowns show me they miss that, too. So, in a way, that's a good thing. They appreciate their time at home with me, and they are able to express that (well, after the meltdowns and talking it out - a mommy knows...). Those tears tell me it was a good not-too-over-scheduled break after all.

I know that after a few days back in school they'll be just fine - they have special friends and a great school. And me? I get to resume my routine - weekly breakfast with the girlfriends, my General Hospital guilty pleasure (I'm waaaay behind), work in peace and quiet, and my very own groove. After a few weeks off, I'm more than ready. Even through all the snot, cold, and tears of the past few weeks, we were together as a family and I'm grateful for that. And, I'm glad they are, too

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