I think I’m the only mother left in the country with her kids still out of school. For us, school doesn’t begin for another week. Another WEEK!
And while everyone else’s children are safely tucked away in math lessons and organized games of volleyball on the school playground, mine are getting up at 9:30 am and then proceeding to irritate each other at the breakfast (almost lunch) table.
I looked at my mother-in-law last night over dinner with apology in my eyes and said,
My children need to be in school.
I need them to be in school for my own sanity and, I’m learning, theirs.
August is just a bad month, I’m beginning to believe.
Either that, or we as humans are programed to need and crave some kind of order in our lives.
It’s not like this summer hasn’t been totally un-ordered. We’ve done chores as needed and had quiet reading times as wanted, but for the most part it’s been a free-for-all. I’ve broken many of my own rules of mothering this summer:
You want an otter pop at 8am? Sure, why not.
You want to stay up and finish the Batman cartoon? Absolutely.
Swim until the moon comes up? What is summer for if it’s not for that?
Breakfast at 11, Lunch at 3 and dinner at…whenever we feel like it.
But by now, even in this late summer heat, I need order. I need to make some sense of my life and heart.
My father said something interesting to me yesterday as I was lamenting our household chaos. “You know,” he began, “you are fortunate that you have a natural season of rest built into your life.”
I guess, in the dredges of August, that’s what I’ve had: A natural season of rest. When our mothering lives trail the school year then we rest and work along with our children.
But now I feel like the year’s Sabbath is over and I’m ready to work again. I’m ready to get up early and comb the girls’ hair into braids every morning before school, to lace up running shoes and push myself out the door. I’m ready to write again.
Why? Because Sabbath isn’t every day. Sabbath is sometimes and then other times it is time to labor. And too much Sabbath, to me, feels like too much candy and a day at the Fair.
So I’ll listen to my heart, this last week of wretched-August and add some schedule and order back to things. Tonight we’ll have a proper dinner at 6 and then a real-life bedtime before it gets too late. Because even if they don’t admit it, they crave order too.
What about you? Are your kids back in school? Do you crave order or Sabbath?