Plodding Along #CoffeeTalk

marching-band

Thank you all for your heartfelt comments on my post the other day. I can’t even remember what day it was, so you know I’m not myself. Ha! Seriously, though, I read each and every one, and I can’t quite get over the outpouring of love and support, so thank you.

I did get off my duff and get to my workout appointment on Tuesday and I have never been so sore in my life. I can barely move. We didn’t even DO that much, and it wasn’t that hard at the time, but man, oh, man, I must be more out of shape than I even feared.

It’s just my legs. I was doing some upper body stuff while my foot was in the medical boot, but I hadn’t done much of anything for my legs in over six weeks. So now I’m hobbling around like an old lady between my swimming head, my stiff legs, my stress fracture and my aching back (did I mention, those weeks in that medical boot created back issues I’d never had before? Oh yeah, good times…)

I haven’t managed to get to an aqua class or to call the doctor yet. Truth be told, I’m still not myself. I have sat at my computer for the better part of every day this week but I’ve accomplished little. I can’t seem to focus, I don’t have much desire to write, my mind is going in about 120 different directions and Facebook is becoming my second home-on-the-Web.

Yesterday afternoon I finally gave it up and went and sat outside in the sunshine for about 20 minutes. Savannah came out and jumped up on my lap, and we sat there together basking in the late day sun. It felt wonderful. I’d like to say I was refreshed afterwards, but not really. The kids got home and suddenly my quiet, tidy house became a free for all, and I started to feel like I was losing the tenuous grasp I had on my sanity.

What they don’t tell young moms is, when the kids get older, it definitely gets less physically challenging, and you may not be as exhausted as you once were, but they become so much more emotionally draining… and their newfound independence has a way of turning your orderly life upside down.

It all SOUNDS so lovely at first… they can do more on their own, they can help with the chores… but in reality, they create more messes for you to clean up. They make their own snacks, but they don’t clean up after themselves. They help with the kitchen after dinner, but they don’t load the dishwasher properly so you have to redo half of it the next morning, and you can never find what you need when you need it when you go to make dinner the next night. They can bake their own cookies, but they almost set the kitchen on fire when they decide to take a shortcut and put the cookie dough in the microwave. They get home from school and leave a trail of shoes, socks, backpacks and lunchboxes in their wake. They change clothes three times a day and throw everything in the hamper, whether it’s dirty or not… on second thought, I’m lucky if the clothes make it to the hamper. They’re usually on the floor, often in the hallway where I get to view the loveliness. And don’t get me started on the laundry that I take such care to fold and stack… that they unceremoniously rip apart as they’re looking for that certain shirt that they must. wear. right. now.

And then there are the extra curricular activities and the driving… I am so thankful my kids don’t go to a private school far away! The amount of driving I do on any given afternoon is enough to make me rethink my decision to live in the suburbs. Do city kids walk to school and activities? That sounds pretty fine right now.

Of course it is my job to teach them the proper way to do things around the house, and those moments in the car can be the only times we get to bond all week, but some days I think I’d rather have kids in diapers than tweens and teens.

But the up side is, they are fun to talk to (when they talk), and they get my humor, they fill the house with music, they teach me new card games that they learn during band practice (what!??), and they rub my back when they see that I’m not feeling well.

And I know, I KNOW, that in a few years, I’ll be sitting here in my empty nest, looking back at this time of my life, missing the chaos… and I will write a blog post telling other mothers that this season is so short… so embrace it, enjoy those kids and all their messes and squabbles and foibles, because they will soon be adults out on their own, and who knows where they will end up and if they will even want to come visit dear old mom. My biggest comfort is that, Lord willing, they will get married and produce a bunch of grand-babies to cuddle.

Then it will be all worth it, right??

What I REALLY meant to write about today, though, was our vacation planning. I warned you that my mind is going in about 120 different directions, didn’t I?

This kind of goes along with the kids getting older and not being around forever. We’ve decided that if we are going to travel as a family and see new places, we need to start now. It is complicated because we don’t want to take the kids out of school at their ages, and traveling during school vacations is much more costly than going during the off-season. Plus, my son’s marching band schedule is INSANE. We can pretty much go nowhere as a family until after the holidays.

We are thinking about doing something for Spring Break (ours is April 1-6, so actually less than week, which makes it hard to go very far) or after school gets out in June. The other question is, where to go? Hilton Head looks nice for Spring Break. But I’d really like to take my family out West, probably to the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Flagstaff area. But that’s too hot for June and too far(?) for a 6-day school break. Plane fare is no joke so we want to make the most of our time out there if we go. I’m really conflicted.

I’m wide open to advice. We need to start nailing things down if we’re going to go in April. Fortunately it is early April, and before high season in some areas here on the East Coast. I found a great price on a home rental in Hilton Head because the rates don’t go up till the end of April.

Then my son threw Yellowstone out there, and now I’m all looking into that… at least the weather there would be more temperate in June, yes?

HOW does one decide? We are clearly not big travelers. We usually go where we are invited, and that’s worked well for us so far, but there are so many places we haven’t seen, and I really want our kids to experience more than Maine and the Jersey Shore before they go off to college, so it’s now or never.

So that’s where I am right now… plodding along, trying to find the energy and focus to complete the projects I’ve committed to, trying not to get too bogged down in the quicksand of life, and looking ahead to some fun family adventures in the new year.

Or as Elisabeth Elliot wisely put it, Just do the next thing.