summer ending: a letter

Dear Eddie and Charlie,

Over the past 5+ months we have developed a routine for our days.

In the beginning, it was just me and Charlie.  We spent our days napping between feedings and diaper changes.  But as he grew and Eddie started staying home most days, our days grew more full as well.

Charlie, you are still usually the first one awake, calling for me with your little yells through the monitor around 7am.  You greet me with a smile each and ever day, like you are SO happy that I came to get you up.  No matter how tired I am, I melt a little at that wide smile.  And once you know I am there for you, your tears immediately turn to coos as you play with your feet, my hair, anything you can reach while I change your diaper.

We migrate to my chair with a warm bottle in hand and watch the first hour (the only one really worth watching, in my opinion) of The Today Show.  Many times you are dozing off an hour after you originally woke up.

Eddie, that is when you usually make your appearance for the day.

Each day that you don’t have daycare you come slowly creeping up the stairs and peek your face around the corner and say, “hi mommy!”  I love it.  And I love that Charlie is usually back in bed so that I can scoop you up in the chair to me and get a big, sleepy hug.

We spend the next couple hours watching TV, playing cars, and eating breakfast.

By that time Charlie is usually up again wanting to eat.  This is when one of two things happens.  We either get dressed and head out for an adventure, or you head downstairs to play by yourself while Charlie helps me do a lot of nothing with whatever the day’s chores are.

Lunch is usually around noon and all three of us love to listen to some tunes while Eddie eats.  A dance party has been known to break out and Charlie has been known to screech-laugh.

Eddie, you like to watch Calliou.  I am just going to tell you. I hate that damn show.  Calliou is a whiny, weird child.  But you love it and it winds you down for nap, so I let it fly.

Charlie, you wind down during this time too.  Sometimes you pass out before daddy comes home for lunch, sometimes you wait until he leaves to go back, but there is usually about 30 minutes or so of nap overlap.

You would think I would use this time wisely.  That after almost 6 months, I would try to squeeze every second out of this time.  But the truth is? I usually waste it online.  Not even accomplishing anything like meeting a deadline or doing any promo.  Nope, I just dork around.  Oh and I usually try to eat something. Maybe shower…but that is pushing it.

Eddie, you usually get up between 3:30 and 4:00 to me and Charlie just hanging out watching TV.  I have been big into Friends re-runs this summer.  I have no idea why, well, other than the show is awesome.

Once Ed is up, we usually change it to Tivo-ed Loony Tunes until daddy gets home around 4:45.  Then he takes over while I get dinner ready.

It’s a nice routine.

It’s comfy.  We are all used to it and the number of meltdowns have great decreased because Eddie, you know what is coming.  And Charlie just does what he does.

But guys?  This week all that we have known this summer comes to an end.

Thursday you will both start going to Renae’s house full-time.

Eddie, you love it at Renae’s. The biggest struggle for you will be adjusting your sleep schedule.  You REALLY hate to be woken up, and prefer to do a slow wake up on your own.  And you’ve been going to bed around 9pm this summer, so that will have to change.  I expect some crabby evenings/mornings for a week or so while we get on this new schedule, but then you will thrive because you love to play with your friends.

Charlie, you are always so good when you go to Renae’s from time to time.  And I know you will do great.

I, on the other hand, am already starting to cry about it.

Each time you lay your head on me because you are getting tired, I tear up thinking of you doing that to someone else.  Each time you giggle at how crazy your brother is, I catch myself getting jealous that Renae will get that every day and I will not.  Every time you smile at me when you wake up from a snooze, my heart counts down one more thing I will miss each day.

You are on the verge of sitting up.  I want that to happen with me.  I don’t want to miss milestones.

I don’t think I missed any with Eddie, but Amy Jo was very good about not telling me if I did.

You boys need to know I love my job.  I love it.

Working with other kids is what I was born to do.

Plus I am just a better version of me when I have a purpose other than our home and family.

But I love you two MORE.

And this summer has been so good.

It is the first summer since becoming a mom that I realized that I can do this.  I can DO this mom thing AND do it well.

We had fun!  We did adventures: zoos, parks, beaches, play dates, library trips, errands, and endless cake pop/coffee runs.  We had dance parties and made parking lots with cars.  We put all the toys in the bounce seat with Charlie.  We played with legos and trains.  We swam and ran through sprinklers.  We ate outside and went on walks.

I very rarely said no to invites to do things because, well, I wanted to make up for the last two summers of doing nothing because of my anxiety.

But now I have to go back to work. I have to.  Both because we need the income/insurance coverage and because to be the best version of me I need to think about more than diapers and toddler lunches.

I am a little excited, and a lot sad.  I have no desire to be a stay at home mom, but I do miss you both fiercely when I am away.

This mom thing is way harder than I ever expected it to be…

…but also way better.

So pardon me if I cry over you a bit the next week. And kiss and hug you after everything you do.

I am just trying to soak up every little bit about each of you.

So I can take it with me to get me through the days until I see you again.

Just promise to act excited to see me when I come to pick you up from Renae’s, Ok?  For me?

I love you,

Mommy

Yes, this was our life the summer of 2012.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Oh this made me go all sniffly! And also grateful that I have the privilege of staying home with the kids. Though Monkey has been spending great amounts of time at his grandparents place, sometimes even overnight. And I miss him so. So I feel you, my friend, I feel you.

  2. Oh I hated that time. It was so bittersweet and like you I was afraid I would miss something. You got this mom even if it is more painful than childbirth. Who would have thought that going to work was more painful than that???

  3. I’m sending you so many virtual hugs + kisses!!! With the promise that one day in real life I’ll hug your neck 🙂

    You are so strong, Kate. And I am so proud of you. Will be lifting you up in prayer!!

    xoxoxoxo

  4. Mamaintheburbs says

    I hope the transition back to work isn’t too hard on you! Sounds like you had a fantastic summer with your boys! And yes you are a great mom and do it well!

  5. Sounds like you have had an awesome summer. I hope that you enjoy the time that remains and that your transition to your new routine will be a smooth one.

  6. I’ve always said that my goal in life is to be a housewife. That means, I send my kids to school everyday. No way in hell could I ever be a a stay at home Mom. I know that I don’t have the strength that those women have. I won’t even try to kid myself. That is the hardest job in the world and I’m not cut out for it.
    I’m glad that you had a busy Summer and good luck with work.
    m.

  7. This speaks to my heart. I’m a working mommy too. It’s hard. I’ll be thinking about you.

  8. I feel like we are teacher/mommy twins. I know exactly how you feel!

  9. Well said Kates.

  10. Oh I want to hug you. I love that you acknowledge the importance of your job to you as a person (and how I hope my kids encounter many teachers like you in their educational journey) while admitting how hard it will be for you to leave your dudes this time. They will, of course, love to see you when you pick them up and the little breaks throughout the year will help you get some extra snugggles. Even if it means teaching Eddie to writ B+ on some papers 🙂

  11. So glad you have had a great summer with the boys. :). Praying for a great transition back into school.

  12. Change is so hard… but usually good in the end.

    And just think… there will always be another summer. 🙂

  13. I too am grateful I was able to spend my days at home with my little ones. I wish everyone were at least able to make that choice if that’s what they wanted. Here are some extra hugs to get you through the transition.

  14. I am going back to work tomorrow and struggling with it big time. More so with the second baby than the first. “But I love you two MORE” is exactly what I am feeling…

  15. This made me cry.

    I’m sending you positive energy for a smooth transition, and hoping that your anxiety stays under control during the upcoming change.

    Did I ever tell you that I wish you were my teacher?
    Hugs!

  16. But I love you two MORE.
    Yes. That’s it exactly.

    I always felt lucky that I got to arrive at a job that I loved.

    And yet.

    It was never easy to leave.

  17. I love the way you tell it to them straight. That you love them more but that you are a better “you” working at what you love to do. This is what being a mother is all about. Right here.

    xoxo

  18. we have never watched callioub ut i have a friend who’s daughter watches it and she says that he is very naughty and she thinks her daughter is learning naughty things from him!

    i see you have a bumbo on your head, did you hear about the recent recall?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57493536-10391704/bumbo-baby-seats-recalled-again-over-risk-of-falling-skull-fractures/

  19. Even if those little boys don’t remember this time when they grow up, you will and I know you will look back on these 5+ months and smile when you remember every last detail. Sending you much love as your routines change.