The Summer of Our Kindergartenmoon

When I say I’ve been busy lately, it takes on entirely new meaning. I mean, this Summer I had a list. I had a list of all the places I wanted to take my kids, all the things I wanted to do and see, all the experiences I wanted to have with them before I lose them forever. To Kindergarten. DUN DUN DUN.

I have dubbed this Summer, our last Summer before Kindergarten, the Summer of Our Kindergartenmoon.

OH WHAT people have babymoons for gob sake and I can’t have a Kindergartenmoon? This is our last hurrah. Our last Summer as a threesome. Our last Mama, Bebe and Gah time before well, the end of all that. I may as well hand them a pack of smokes and a prepaid phone card (do they still have those) and tell them to remember to CALL YOUR MOTHER OCCASIONALLY FOR THE LOVE.

Now, I know I’m overly dramatic but there is also a part of me that is not at all dramatic in that our lives will forever be changed once they enter full day school. We won’t have the luxury of taking off in the morning and coming home in the evening as we’ve done so so so many days up until now. No longer will we avoid all the chaos of the regular crowds if we want to do something during the week because we need to go when ALL THE OTHER SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN GO. Blech. I like our little bubble of doing our own thing whenever we want to do it. I like that we rarely have crowds, we get early bird discounts, we don’t ever deal with rush hour. All of that, GONE. POOF. Thanks a lot, Kindergarten.

What I’ve discovered as we’ve ticked off my enormous list is that we are in such a sweet spot with these five year olds it’s making it even harder to kiss it goodbye. I mean, these kids are hilarious. And not in the way that toddlers are hilarious.  They are, laugh out loud, get the joke, make the joke, in on the joke, hilarious. They are eccellent travel companions. They have become helpful, joyful, curious, social, thoughtful, conscientious, fun as hell little people.

So this Summer has been BUSY. We have done all the things. We have seen all the things. We have had our feet in the sand and ridden the waves and eaten all the ice cream. We’ve jumped in every bounce house and gone to every museum. We've biked and scooted and cartwheeled and floated in the water. We've counted fireflies and fish and smelled so many flowers. We’ve done the play places and the play dates and the splash pads and the little getaways and the road trips (my absolute favorite). We've watched the sun set and the sun rise and talked about our favorite things about each day at bedtime. We’ve played with chickens and paddled the paddle boats and befriended new folks and animals all Summer long everywhere we’ve gone.

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Bebe and Gah Forever.

But more important than all of the things we did or saw or tasted are the conversations we have had. The memories we’ve created. All the dumb shit we laughed about. All the ridiculous and sweet songs we’ve made up. The things they’ll remember. Because they will remember these things now.

I am honored to be here with them now. Back when they were babies I thought I was cool. I thought I knew what this might be like, but it’s exceeded every single expectation I had. It’s always way more challenging in ways I never could’ve predicted.

So yeah, Kindergartenmoon. I don’t know about a babymoon, but I sure as hell know about a Kindergartenmoon because this Summer I have done my damnedest to be present and connected. To take ALL MY VACATION TIME and use it wisely. Not expensively, but creatively. I was here. I was with them. I was present. I was sober. I am sober. That is part of why this is so raw and terribly difficult to handle. But I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.

And then we get to Nanny Nikki. I haven’t had the nerve or the emotional fortitude to write about Nikki leaving us after 5 years and I still don’t, I may never. It feels too intimate. Too close. These kids are who they are, I am who I am, in part due to our relationships with Nikki. Our lives are about to change in very big ways. Kids going to full time school and no more Nikki a few days a week. No more. No more. She’s so intertwined in our family that it feels like someone is unfairly ripping us apart and then I remember that we are doing this because we are ready to move on. This is progression and growth and that is incredibly painful sometimes. But we must grow. We must.

Just like when people have a babymoon to celebrate their lives as a couple before their entire world changes after a baby comes, we are all feeling this impending life change when kindergarten begins. In so many big and small ways, we are forever changed by Nikki, by our kids, by each and every Summer. I didn’t want to miss a thing this Summer and I haven’t. But it’s been with a bit of melancholy as we watch the weeks fly by. We are now here.

I have never and will never be one of those moms who wishes her babies would stay babies forever, because BLECH BABIES but seriously, healthy growing kids are what we want and are so grateful for. These kids are ready for Kindergarten. They may not believe it yet, but I'm pretty sure they are going to love it so so much. And therefore their old mama will love it too. As I watch them walk into that enormous school without me - yet with each other - I hope I can hold on to all that.

So. As we move forward it will be the way we’ve always done it. With hope, with perseverance and acknowledging a bit of fear while using all our courage. A little sadness and grieving over what we are losing is OK too. OK, a lot of sadness and grieving. But also so much excitement for all the future holds.

I know you will all tell me how much I have to look forward to and I know I do. I know it for sure. I know we have many more Summers ahead. We have every day to look forward to beginning with tomorrow. So please don’t feel like you need to assuage my feelings. I am feeling my feelings and this is where I am. It will pass. It always does. To be able to sit in my feelings even when they are really hard is a gift of sobriety that took me a long time to accept and I don’t ever want to rush it. It takes time.

But oh what a Kindergartenmoon Summer we have had. I’ve never been a Summer person, I prefer the cool darkness of Fall and Winter, but this Summer, I hope I never ever forget this. This Summer is my favorite.

Related:

I am the Sober Mom

Mothering Little Big Kids

Learning how to hurt and then heal

The pain we carry while reaping great joy

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