This is what I wrote in my journal on June 5th, the beginning of summer...
"I am just trying to get through each day without having a stroke...that's my goal, to not stroke out. Maybe I have set the bar a bit too low, but at least it's somewhat achievable! I go through this every summer - the end of the school year means another summer where my kids are home alone all day & I'm missing countless opportunities to be with them...having the fun, nurturing, guiding, protecting, supervising, laughing, talking, cleaning, shopping, cooking healthy meals, all the things I desire in my heart to do with and for them. Instead, they are on their own eating hot pockets & frozen pizza and fighting & leaving the house whenever and going wherever with whoever...and I'm not there. I'm so sad, worried, frustrated at why God has said 'no' to my years of praying (to be home). God, help me. This is worse than the other years because it might be the last year Nick and Vinny are home - and I've missed it."
Well, here we are approaching the end of the summer. Some things have changed and I've learned quite a bit. About myself and my kids and my husband and our God...
First of all, I didn't have a stroke. That's a good thing.
Secondly, my kids are much more capable of managing themselves than I had given them credit for. Yea, I know there were probably fights, but this summer I didn't get one single call (yet) by someone saying/yelling/crying because they were being picked on/ignored/infuriated by a sibling. Progress? I think so. The kids are maturing and I'm so proud of them! And me...I'm learning to let go a bit. Just a bit. Little bits at a time. Is it possible to hold onto your kids too tightly? If so, I've probably been guilty of that. It's good for them to work out their disagreements themselves, without one of the parents swooping in and administering justice - which is sometimes necessary, but in the long run they don't learn how to work things out themselves and experience the consequences of not. Hopefully through those experiences, they learn compassion and compromise and selflessness...and how to live with someone that you CAN'T STAND RIGHT NOW!!! Not that I would know anything about that.
And then there's the food. With our new juicing adventure, we are eliminating most processed food from the house. So that means no more mac & cheese, frozen pizzas, and hot pockets. Oh the horror. Either the kids will learn to make "real food" for lunch, or they will starve. Or I suppose they will mooch food off their friends, or spend their spending money buying junk at the Cenex. All of which I'm sure have been occurring. Our hope is that the "real food" concept will win out most of the time. So far they have been gagging at our juices, but my kale, cuke, apple, carrot juice today is pretty delish!
I think I'll go enjoy it on our deck and chat with our kids and our dog and my husband and possibly journal some more.