Last night was the annual Back to School Picnic. The fifth grader agonized over an outfit and might have even commented on a few boys she hoped to see. Upon arrival, she quickly disappeared into a gaggle of equally well-dressed, giggling girls. The Third Grader even has guys this year. He ran off with his crew and when I came to make sure he made it to the buffet, he was sitting with his buds eating not only a hot dog, but a pile of carrots that he’d gotten of his own volition. My heart skipped a beat.
I helped my First Grader with meal time but other than that he was MIA for most of the night too. Oh what a difference a year makes. I wandered aimlessly trying to find something to do with myself as my role of Mama was extraneous. It wasn’t until the car ride home that I got an earful from each one about all that the saw, did, learned amongst their peers. It was a glorious six minute ride. Last night, I kissed my boys goodnight and read a novel with my girl. Then I had a glass of red with The Husband on our back deck and all was right with the world.
This summer has been one of dreams. My kids are all at the perfect age to play together, play with friends unassisted and yet still want to spend time with me at the end of the day. I love the independence I have to make only my own breakfast in the morning but I also love that they’re never too far away during the day. I still get a driveby hug on the beach and they all still want a snuggle before bed at night.
I know this time is short-lived. I can already feel The Girl questioning our relationship and it won’t be long before the boys have completely replaced me with video games and friends and maybe even (horrors!) girls.
But for now, I will spend the next few days relishing in our Golden Summer. I’ll take all the hugs and kisses and store them up for later days. And I’ll say thank you every minute for the gifts these little people have become.
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