Feed, Bathe, Sleep, Repeat

imageSchool is almost done! This means I have an almost Sophomore, eighth grader, and seventh grader.  This makes me sad.  TIME PLEASE SLOW DOWN!  But, it also means that summer is here.  With this comes no more lunch packing, early morning fights, or homework.  It also means later morning and all day fighting.  Then again, it’s pool days, sunshine, and tons of unscheduled time; which I love…FYI.

I am amazed how each school year goes faster and faster.  You’d think I would see it coming…but, I don’t.  EVER.  And, I find myself pining away for the days when I couldn’t sit down, and I had to help everyone with everything all the time every minute of everyday.  Did I tell you how much I love unscheduled time?  This bi-polar rear-view mirror method of time reflection is not lost on me…

We are moving into a new phase as a family.

A phase with more independence and less hands on stuff. The phase that as a new parent you look ahead to and covet. You want it so bad you almost wish you could fast forward the nights (I mean you aren’t sleeping anyway) to get to the days where you can sit in quiet and eat a real lunch; not one that consists of stolen bites of mac and cheese when no one is looking. This new phase has a lot more car pooling, but the play dates actually require you to leave and have some time to yourself. Like, time you don’t have to pay someone for and it’s just really, REALLY, weird…

In this new phase there are days like yesterday.

My oldest stayed home from school sick, and instead of this meaning puke clean-up and having another human attached to my body while I worry about laundry piling up and how in the world am I gonna make dinner?! It meant I stayed home and read a book on the deck while he basically took care of himself.  I mean he needed me to get him medicine and tell him what to eat, but for the most part it was like a really wonderful and almost lazy day.  When did this change?  And, why in the world does it make me sad instead of making me jump for joy?

The other day, I was talking to my husband (yeah, we get to do that now too), and I realized we have no clue what we are doing!  When they were babies, you fed them, did what you could to keep them on a schedule, bathed them, and put them to bed.  Wake up and repeat.  With three babies in 3 1/2 years, we felt like an experts.

Feed, bathe, sleep, repeat.  Feed, bathe, sleep, repeat.

But with teens?  It feels like the blind leading the blind.  There is no routine.  There is no expert advice because no one has actually survived intact.  They are all unpredictable, hormonal time-bombs!  They are just waiting to explode all over your seemingly perfect and routine day!  And, in order to clean up the mess they make, you must surrender your sanity and promise to never tell the true story of what happened.  This is so people will keep having babies.imageOh, and they eat at all kinds of weird times and strange things too.  And, they are the most confusing things to talk to; one minute everything is fine and sunshine, and the next it’s tears and thunderstorms.

I remember thinking toddlers were impossible to reason with!

Try a teenager; they are basically just someone who SHOULD know better, but doesn’t, and expects you to agree with their insane reasoning about everything because they know EVERYTHING.

So…yeah, basically giant toddlers.  Maybe, I CAN figure this out; it’s just feed, bathe, sleep, repeat on a grander and hormone infused scale!imageAnd, now I am looking at all this TIME.  All of this before.

Time that has passed.  Time that’s passing.  And, even the time that’s in front of us.  I am looking at it, knowing that I am going wish for these days again.

Just like the early baby days and the chaotic sleepless nights.  I am going to wish for a slammed door in a quiet house, and an empty pantry because they ate everything; even the weird, old can of peaches and that odd looking box of mystery pasta.  Just like wiping snotty noses, bath time, and searching for a lost-can’t-sleep-without-it stuffed Elmo at bedtime.  I am going miss the fights over short shorts and who’s turn it is to clean the bathroom.

I am going to wish for these days back too.

The moral of my retrospective rambling is this : I don’t want get so caught up in feed, bathe, sleep, repeat that I miss the stuff between the commas.

I am going to choose happy this week because by realizing that we can’t see the beauty of our before until we are in the after.

And, if this “after” is more confusing than the first, at least I have teenagers with me now; they know everything, so I’m pretty sure I’ll make it.

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