My kids go back to school this week. One starts back Tuesday, and the other two go back on Wednesday. I’m not sure whether to be happy, sad, or to just take a nap.
When my kids were smaller, summer used to be a time when we played outside, went to the pool, and I shoved popsicles in their hands every time I heard the cries of “Mommy, I’m bored!” It was easy living. I can’t tell you how much I miss that some days.
Fast forward a few years. Thanks to the evolution of year-round competitive sports, our summers have been filled with hockey, dance, and cheer. There was no summer break at all. My two oldest children are also old enough to work, and if I wanted to have use of my car, I was driving them to and from work. Add to that errands and the fun things we wanted to do, I may as well have put a TAXI sign on top of my car and started charging.
My car is going to rest a bit in the garage this week. I’m exhausted. The Summer Mom Taxi is chilling out until next year.
I understand much of the pain I am complaining about is self-inflicted. No one is forcing my kids to play sports, or me to allow them to, but it is important to keep everyone active, isn’t it? I truly didn’t realize how active they would be when I signed on. Summer hours are a lot of days a week. Practice, strength training, conditioning, extra personal training on the side. Sports these days are no joke. So if anything, I’m going to have two very well-conditioned athletes when all is said and done.
I do love the idea of both of my teenagers working. They need to earn their own money and stop using my husband and I as cash machines. They need to learn to budget and save. They also need to learn to be responsible, to commit to something, and stick to it. It’s been great to see both of my boys work so hard and reap the rewards. It hasn’t been the most convenient thing car-wise for our family, but I’m so proud of them for sticking with their jobs and wanting to keep them into the coming school year.
Despite the hardships, we have snuck in some pool time, some fun trips to get ice cream, even a weekend camping in the woods. No vacation this year due to moving to a new house, but we have some other trips lined up, so there will be adventures for our family to come.
With all the crazy running, this was the one summer where I really enjoyed my kids. Being in the car all that time with them brought me closer to them. There were a lot of talks in that car this summer. There was a lot of one-on-one time with each kid. Doing all of that taxi time gave me the opportunity to have some deep conversations with each child. I heard some deep-down things that were really on their hearts. I heard some things that were really bothering them and we talked it out. We also had a ton of laughs and silly time. We sang songs. We argued about sports. They are getting older and we can do all of these cool things now. I am usually all about sending my kids back to school after what seems like a never-ending summer. As this week approaches, I realize I’m really going to miss them now. We had a really cool connection this summer with all of this running around.
But yes, we all need a break, and there will be the fall running around coming very soon.
As I just mentioned, I do realize my chauffeur life is not completely out of business. This is only a break. The vehicle during this down time will be getting inspected and treated to a nice oil change and some new tires.
And until the Fall Mom Taxi makes her appearance, I’m gonna Nextflix and pass out!