Bye, Felicia.

It’s that time of year, when I’m equal parts mourning the end of summer and mourning that fact that it’s not over yet. How can I miss you, Summer, if you won’t go away?

Our school superintendent was sharing at a meeting recently that “our school has the longest summer in town” to which a few weary parents nodded in fatigue and a few happy teachers looked around well-rested and giddy. Oh yes, I’m looking at you Miss Fresh Faced Elementary Teacher. You look great! Are you resting well?

Oh, summertime, you be a beast.

This summer has actually been pretty great, I won’t lie. I haven’t cried in my beer too many times, not for the usual reasons anyway. Maybe I’m just focusing on things other than all the usual shenanigans these children of mine pull, things they do to send me to search engines looking up “three-month summer camp in the foothills of New Hampshire.” We live in Georgia, so the geography works well.

But our oldest left for college two weeks after high school graduation, and the day after we moved Ethan to school I left for a week in Boston. And things feel like they’ve been a whirlwind since about three months before that. It’s been crazy and while I was on family vacation last week and finally, for the first time all summer, enjoying some downtime, I couldn’t figure out why a nagging feeling of anxiety was shadowing most of my moves. I shook it off, most of the time, but I was frustrated.

“You’re through all the hard stuff,” I told myself, all the while realizing that the day we returned from vacation we would be bringing Ethan back to school, this time for the real deal.

Also, today I was talking to a friend about all this and she shared how her experience is often that she handles the crazy great, only to have the stress and anxiety catch up to her a little later. I’m wondering. This Spring and early Summer were some of the most intense weeks I’ve ever had, on a personal level and professionally too. So many milestones (which are just so, so much the first time around) and also things like taping an entire season of our talk show and co-hosting a few days of radio with Lino Rulli, and speaking at Edel — all awesome, all with some intensity involved.

Anyway, tonight when the kids started whining and nitpicking and Isabel bemoaning the fact that she neeeeeded a bllllaaannnket and could someone just get her one, I may have ordered someone to the shower and he didn’t want to go and he questioned my authority and I might have muttered something about being the “mother loving boss of this gin joint that’s why” and that’s when, upon hearing those words tumble secretly out of my mouth, I knew.

I knew it with all the truth of a century of truths: that summertime needed to be over and it needed to happen fast.

But of course, I can’t make time move faster so I’ll just decant this here vino and take a chill pill and all will be well. It will be well and it shall be well and every thing shall be well. Isn’t that how it goes?

Yes, yes it is.

Mothering With Grace

This November, I’ll be speaking at the Mothering With Grace conference in Charlotte, NC.

Registration is now open, so click here if you’re interested! And let me know if you’re coming — I’d love to meet you!

Daily Ten: Thwarted Edition

It might appear that I’ve already dropped my resolution to blog daily but the TRUTH IS that my internet went out at home and I couldn’t blog. How ironic is that? I finally decide to get back to work and then I can’t.

AND, fast forward five days (I started this post that long ago) and now we are on vacation and I suddenly remembered my resolve and how I’ve already failed. Which is good, right? I’ve gotten that out of the way!

So my thoughts for today are: just keep swimming. And thanks so much for the kinds words from readers who are so quick to encourage me to keep moving forward. I’m one of those people who need the encouragement, so I really appreciate it.

Vacation has been wonderful and I didn’t realize how I’d been looking forward to this all summer long. This is our week together as a family, and while I could lament that fact that we are now “big enough” to come to this (why can’t we just all be together always and forever?) I’m choosing to focus on the joy of this moment. We are here, together in this house, making memories this week on this beach. It is good.

Today’s Ten

Yesterday Isabel and I were getting ready to head out the door for her five-year check-up. I was applying my eye shadow and blush and Isa looked at me and asked if she could put on a little lip gloss, “so I can look stylish.”

Oh my goodness the words this girl says.

It’s not so much the words as the concepts. Having a child who, at five, has this idea of what appearances even means — well this is something entirely new for me. In the past, dealing with a five-year-old meant our discussions on going out in public centered exclusively on behavior and the need to not run away from me. To consider how you will look when you leave the home? Never ever in my wildest dreams did I realize that was A Thing before the age of fifteen.

Apparently, it is.

So I let Isabel dab a little gloss and inspect herself in the mirror and she looked lovely. We saw the doctor and it was a very calm and pleasant little experience indeed. It also made me laugh how Isabel’s version of being the center of attention (as one tends to be when one goes to the doctor) was to sit very still and cross her hands properly, just so. In the past few years, bringing Henry to see our pediatrician has meant bracing myself for him to LITERALLY (not literally but just about literally) climb off the walls. He too loves our doctor and his way of getting all the attention is to GO NUTS.

The great thing about our doctor is he handles it all very chilled outĀ either way. I am sure there was a time I apologized for wild behavior from my children (really, it’s just so discouraging) while finding a balance in correcting them constantly and listening to what the doctor is saying. In other words, at some point you have to cut your losses (no amount of my correcting is doing the trick in this moment, I will deal with this later) and tune out wild antics so you can actually talk about what’s going on with your child (which is: this whole {hands swirling} scene, please tell me we aren’t all crazy).

And the good news, as I sat there and enjoyed the moment with Isabel where she made the whole experience so very pleasant indeed, is that I didn’t have any false sense of victory. I mean, of course I was proud of my daughter’s excellent behavior, but I was also very much aware that it had little to do with my superior parenting skills. Whew. Glad there’s that.