Not ready

About 10 minutes ago, my mother-in-law who is truly marvelous for many reasons, pulled away from the front of my house with Ace, Tink, their backpacks, their suitcase, their Nintendo DSs, swimsuits, stuffed animals and blankies happily ensconced in her backseat. They are on their way back to her house in Delaware where they will stay until Sunday which means I have 5 days and 4 nights without kids.

Why aren’t I running through my house whooping and hollering? It is 5 days and 4 nights without whining and bickering. I’m fairly sure I won’t have to put anyone in Time Out. I can stay up late and sleep late and read uninterupted. If you call me on the phone, I might be able to finish an entire conversation. I can clean out the office, the storage room. Maybe I’ll get around to painting the front door red. I can figure out what I am doing with the rest of my life.

Oh, right, that’s why I’m not celebrating. I have to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life.

The kids get back on Sunday and on Tuesday, school starts. Tink straps on her new blue panda backpack and heads through the doors of elementary school for the first time. She’ll be in kindergarten from 8:50 until 3:05 Monday through Friday. Ace will be there also, in 4th grade which means he is swiftly closing in on middle school and the teen years. I will have 6 hours of uninterrupted, kid-free time 5 days a week. It sounds like bliss except

I am NOT ready for this.

I have been primarily a mom for the past 9 years. I have done other things, yes, but the mom thing has been my primary focus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was our plan. Both IT Guy and I felt very strongly that those first 5 years in a kid’s life were so important, more important than the corresponding 5 years (for each) in my life. I would primarily parent and get our kids into elementary school and then figure out what was next. That has been the plan for 9 years and those years went cliche fast. The day of reckoning comes on Tuesday and I am not ready.

To say I am bad with transitions would be quite the understatement. I suck at transitions, even the little ones. Now I can see this huge one coming at me like a freight train — Tink growing up and away from me, Ace’s continued path to adulthood — and I’ve only got a few more days. It isn’t that I get to be done being a mother. I just suddenly have time to be something else and I don’t know what that is yet.

It’s scary and I just want to put my sunglasses back on and stand in the shallow end of the pool with my kids splashing around me for a few more weeks.

I am not ready for summer to be over.