The sun is shining in a beautiful blue sky today. I've got a bounce in my step that has been missing too often lately. I have the scent of the remaining birthday roses floating across the table in the light breeze from the window. It's a great day.
Nothing special, really. Laundry and working. Not a big list of exciting plans. Just another Wednesday in my life. But I feel good.
I was having a really hard time figuring this out. What is different? Surely having the kids back in school didn't MAGICALLY make things better. This is only day 4. Where did this peace come from? I've been sleeping better, eating better, exercising more. I'm managing my time like it's easy. Floating from one thing to another. So what happened?
Macboy was kind enough to shed light on this situation. You see, he hates school. He has since kindergarten. It's not any specific thing, he has good friends and he likes his teachers. What he doesn't like is wasting time. And repeated practice of a skill you possess feels like wasted time. He loves math and science because you can 'do something with it' but he loathes writing. Writing notes that are already written in a text book? WASTED TIME. Summarizing a book to a teacher who has read the book, (aka. book reports) WASTED TIME. The rough part is that many times I agree with him. He learns in a different way. I had to write everything to remember it. Once I've written it with my own hands, it's pretty much cemented in my brain. Not him. He doesn't even look like he's paying attention but can often repeat everything you just said.
Back to the point here, he has been coming home happy every day so far. He didn't have the massive stress levels before the first days that we've experienced every year so far. There were some signs, but nothing huge. He's getting himself out of bed in the mornings and he's ready to go.
I asked him what is different this year. He said "nothing." I probed a bit, as I'm likely to do, (which usually turns out bad because I remind my kid of a problem he had forgotten) And he said that summer was just about too long. There were too many rainy days, too many hot days, too many friends away, all of that. He said the beginning of summer is great because you know that you have two months to just do whatever you want.
Being back to school gives him something to look forward to. I was moved by this observation. Really shocked. He is absolutely right. Everything feels better when you have something to look forward to. The days go better. When I'm moping around the house where all I can look forward to is making dinner for everyone and then washing all their dishes, I'm not very happy. But I've found somewhere to go, something to do for just myself and I love it. I have never been one to enjoy exercise (wonder where my kids get it) but I love this membership I've got. It's not about reaching my goals or losing weight or anything like that.
I can spend my day looking forward to a break. Some time to myself, for myself. And the difference is huge.
I let this thought steep in my brain for a while and then I brought it up with Macboy again. I mentioned that I was surprised he was looking forward to school everyday. It's a great thing to know that you have something to do everyday. Things aren't quite as boring, even though sometimes the days seem to go a little too fast.
He looked at me kind of puzzled. I reminded him of our conversation a few days before. Then he laughed at me.
"Mom, I don't look forward to GOING to school,
I look forward to 3:30 everyday when it's done."
No matter what it is, no matter how big or how small, give yourself something to look forward to and you will keep moving forward!