It's the last week of summer vacation here in Portland…school starts the day after Labor Day. And I can't seem to spend a proper amount of time at the computer ("proper" for one who calls herself a blogger, at least). Hence the quiet emanating from Parent Hacks.
Oh, I have plenty of reasons, most of which have to do with the two children running around my house. One is starting middle school in less than a week, and the other is about to enter 3rd grade.
They're not the "because of the kids" reasons I used to give when they were younger. I sleep through the night (mostly), my kids feed themselves (mostly), and I have swatches of time to myself. Besides, if you're a regular reader of parenting blogs, "too busy" isn't really a reason. Just look at the work of Kristen, Liz, Gabrielle, Christine, or any of the other remarkably talented and productive writers who are juggling way more than I am.
I've also been working on something behind the scenes which I can't wait to share with you in the coming weeks. Hint: it's something I've been talking about doing for the last three years.
No, my reasons are less defined, but have to do with the fact that I can't pull myself away from my kids. I have been more aware than ever this summer that they are growing up, and, at the risk of sounding maudlin or melodramatic, this may be the last summer they want to hang out with me in the childlike way they do now.
My son, who we have home schooled for the last year and a half, has decided to return to public school for 6th grade. He's turned into a man-like creature this summer. We talk about things like "being cool" and "deodorant." He's significantly taller than me. He texts. He's going to get himself to school this year. This boy, who, until recently, was too anxious to leave the house, is ready to blaze a path. And this summer was the moment before he sets out.
My daughter is my son's opposite in many ways. Her tiny frame belies her incredible emotional depth and maturity. She may look like a wood sprite, but she's got this grounding and serenity that can leave me speechless. Her pace is different than many kids' her age…spending time with her requires slowing down to observe and listen. She is the embodiment of potential energy. While she is patient with my multitasking, I miss a lot with her that way, and, this summer, I didn't want to.
I always feel sheepish writing these posts, like I'm giving you excuses. Summer has traditionally been a time of productivity for me because I got so much done when we were all free from the lock-step routine of school. But this summer I just wanted to hang out. I wanted to just look at my kids, drink them in during this moment of change. Be there, eyes open.
As "professional bloggers" go, I'm a transparently weak multitasker. But there it is. I love this community, and am with you, reading comments and emails, tweeting and Facebooking. I'm not going anywhere, and have so, so much to tell you, and so many more hacks to share. THANK YOU, as always, for the steady stream of fantastic tips and for the time you spend with me. And for your understanding as I go drink a glass of lemonade on the front lawn during this last, delicious week of summer.
Lemonade photo credit: Flickr.com/Lara604