My kids have been gone for an extended weekend in Idaho to visit their grandparents. Another kid went camping and the 4th went on a hiking trip.
I've noticed some significant changes in their absence.
1) The laundry loads basically ceased. No mismatched socks, wet towels, and only worn once shorts (hey, it's summer) to be found. What I laundered on Thursday? It's all still clean.
2) I haven't run the dishwasher since Thursday. For real. It just hasn't filled up with 50 million water glasses and 20,000 forks like it usually has.
3) We still have food in the house, including ice cream and Doritos. Wonder of wonders!
4) Our internet literally sped up because all the 'heavy users' were gone.
5) We ate food with icky things like tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. With no complaints.
6) Our electricity usage plummeted thanks to the fact lights actually got turned off when leaving a room.
Aside from all the financial savings, I miss my kids. We have less than 2 weeks before the awful dreaded first day of school arrives and frankly, I'm scared.
I'm scared for the stress that will consume my daughter over the intense school curriculum. I'm scared for my son as he enters the new world of middle school, I'm scared for my step daughter as she adjusts to the mysterious world called high school and I'm scared for the exhaustion my kids are going to face with very early mornings and long homework filled evenings.
The laughter is going to decrease. The lightheartedness will go on hiatus, save for weekends. The carefree joy of no routine will burrow away until Christmas break.
I know this about my kids because it happens every year as they grow older.
There is so much pressure on kids these days. It concerns me because they deserve to have a childhood. Adulting is coming oh so fast and in a blink, the innocence of youth will vanish.
I want to make most of our last free days together. And aside from the last doctor check ups and dental cleanings, I have completely erased a schedule. No outside commitments or obligations are in the works, at least that's my goal.
I've written this and it sounds like a death sentence simply because school is starting. In a way though, it is. This is our last summer at this age. And while I have tons of photos to commemorate it, this is fleeting and we will never return to this time.
A new season awaits us. One I hope will still offer joy, even in the midst of beginning trumpet and second year Spanish.
It will be different but it will still be ours.