Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ups and Downs.

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster.  I'm not one to wish time away, but I'm sorta glad it's over.  With the first week of school, friends visiting, Labor Day weekend (also known as the official goodbye to summer) there was a lot going on.  Not in a crazy busy way...more of an emotional way.  It wasn't just me feeling this...anxiety was running rampant in our house.  Usually if it's only myself feeling a lot it can be off set by the rest of the family and vice versa.  When it's all of us, there is no one to balance us out.  Except maybe the cat, but let's be honest she's always pretty bitchy so that's no help.  

Anyways.  The first week of school was of course, the obvious cause of hyper sensitive feelings.  The anticipation leading up to the first day, going through it, getting back into it...it is all a lot.  The first day went great.  I dropped my babes off...spent my day missing them...anxiously picked them up and with great relief was met with big smiles by both at the end of the day.  I spent the walk home hearing about both their days.  Each talking over one another, trying hard to be patient for their turn.  First day success.  Then came day two.  All seemed well until we got in the drop off line.  I turn to give my hugs and kisses and "have a great day" and I was met with a very sad Ava face.  She told me she didn't want to go to school as her pretty blue eyes filled with tears.  This is always the moment as a mom that your heart breaks a bit.  When you see your baby feeling so sad and you struggle to find the words to make it all okay.  In this particular moment I wanted to say "Okay babe, one day of third grade was enough.  Let's go home and put our suits on and go to the pool.  Maybe we'll get ice cream afterwards."  Instead I gently asked why she felt that way after having had such a great first day.  She replied "I just like being home with you."  Insert more heart breaking.  After talking a few minutes I had her smiling and ready for her day.  However, the tears and sadness were all I could take with me throughout my day.  By the end of the day all was well.  After a little more talking I truly believe she simply didn't want summer to end.  The realization that it was over and school was really starting set in.  I got it.  I felt the exact same way.  Even though both girls enjoy school, it is still hard to change and get back into the routines.  Everyone was a little more tired, a little more emotional.  

Part two of emotional roller coaster week. I had one of my best friends in town visiting.  It's been a very long time since I have seen her.  Catching up was fantastic.  A couple of late nights, but totally worth it.  It is one of those friendships where it doesn't matter how many years pass, we can pick it back up.  We haven't lived in the same town for 17 years.  We don't keep in touch very well.  And, it doesn't matter at all.  An easy, beautiful friendship.  

After time with her I always get to thinking.  I think in life we make many choices that lead us in different directions.  I feel so very happy with the choices I've made to get me where I am.  I feel fortunate to have the life I have.  It took most of my twenties to get to the contentment I feel now in my thirties, but I finally have it.  I think it was solidified when Ava was born and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.  However, I think everyone occasionally thinks about paths not taken.  Different choices you could have made that may have led you elsewhere.  When I am with this particular friend, I think more about different paths chosen.  She left for college, I stayed in-state.  I moved around to a couple of places and then settled back in my hometown.  She moved down to Cali and made a life for herself there.  I became a mom, she became a career woman.  She travels to exotic places, I find happiness in our mountains and lakes.  Both are amazing paths and I wouldn't change anything about mine.  But if I'm being truly honest with myself, thinking about it can make me wonder.  It shakes the contentment I feel ever so slightly.  It makes me want to pack up my family and head someplace else for a new adventure.  On the other hand, I love our amazing town.  Getting to see it through the eyes of her friends who were here for the first time was a good reminder.  I am very happy with my path.  And excited about where it may go next.  All these thoughts simply added to the emotion of the week.

And, then came Labor Day.  The oh, so sad Labor Day.  The goodbye to summer.  Just as Memorial marks the official beginning of summer, Labor Day marks the end.  We crammed a lot in our summer.  Almost every weekend was spent camping, hiking or at the river.  I really didn't feel like packing the car up one more time to go anywhere, but we just had to.  We decided to keep it simple and go to the river.  Pack some swim suits throw the board on top of the car and go.  It was a beautiful weekend.

We were planning on staying only one night.  Like I said, knowing it's the end I kinda wanted to get it over with and come home.  Silly me.  It was like I didn't want to be sad about it being over so I thought if I told myself I wanted to go home it would be easier.  This worked the first day.  Then the next day we floated the river.  The sky was bright blue, the river was a perfect lazy pace.  Girls were giggling, lots of splashing and cold beers.  At the end of the float Matt suggested we stay one more night.  Little girls begged "yes! yes!"  My dad offered to go into town and grab pizza at my "I didn't bring anything for dinner" resisting.  Deal sealed.  We were staying.  Staying one more night to soak up the tiny bit of summer.  Good decision.
One more river sunset...

Very happy girls...

One more paddle board.  And, both our girls figured out how to do it on their own. Love it.  I think we're gonna need a few more boards.

One more campfire with s'mores.  One more night of looking for shooting stars under the dark night.  It was awesome.  Monday was somber.  I let myself open up to soak up the last weekend of summer and sometimes when you open up, it sucks in the end.  But, it was worth it.  We cleaned and packed up and headed home.  Emotions were still high. Ups and downs.  Once home and unpacked things began to settle.  Life jackets and swimsuits were put away.  Backpacks and lunches came out.  It was okay.  I was ready.

Today things feel normal again.  We are settling back into school routines.  There have been no more tears at drop off.  The middle of the day still brings summer heat, but the coolness has settled in the evenings and mornings.  Signs of changes to come.  I am not thinking about where we should go camp this weekend.  This is okay.  It's time for things to calm down.  Stay home.  Relax.  Get ready to embrace fall and all it's loveliness.  

I end with a quote I found I am loving.  "There are three solutions to every problem:  Accept it, Change it, Leave it.  If you can't accept it, change it.  If you can't change it, leave it"  Wise words.

Happy day to ya.  

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