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Freedom is mine… And I’m feeling good.

Lately I’ve been waking up around 5:00am.

While, I’m naturally an early riser, this is early even for me. I think middle school has hyped me up a bit. Unconsciously, I worry about my son getting up, if he’s completed everything that needed to be done, if he’s ready for the new school day. Since I can’t fix and do everything for him, I compensate for any potential failings by preparing the perfect lunch. A+ for me.

By 6:30am, two of my three boys are usually awake. It’s the middle-schooler who needs to get up that is still sleeping. I gently shake his warm body until he yells something unintelligible and falls back unconscious. This happens at least three more times at five minute intervals, until finally I turn on the light, rip off the covers and throw clothes on top of his head.

By 7:30am, he’s out the door.

I finish up organizing and feeding my younger two, negotiating with them to put on their socks, brush their teeth, eat their breakfast. Pretty much everything I need to get done for them is a negotiation. Like I would be the one embarrassed if they went to school with their shirt inside out, or in trouble if they didn’t finish their homework, or mortified if the girl they ultimately asked to the prom turned them down because they had no teeth. Okay, fine, I would.

Finally, the bus arrives and I wave, smile and jump up and down manically for the two little faces, one with dark curly hair, the other blonde and straight, pressed to the window watching me in amusement.

By 8:30am, they are officially all off to school, and I am in my house alone for the first time in over ten years.

I thought, being a generally sappy mom, prone to stalking, suffocation and crying lapses, that I would take this transition hard.

There’s no one cracking up while doing goofy dances for VideoStar. There’s no running through the halls, pounding down the stairs, or racing cars across the wood floors. There’s no one fighting over who likes macaroni the most or who can climb a tree highest. There’s nothing but silence.

No children giggling. No children fighting. No children.


I am almost shocked at how thrilled I am with this time to myself. I flip the laundry. La la la. I do some exercise. La la la. I run a few errands. I sit at the computer and write! La la halle-freaking-lujah!

I am so content in my bubble with myself that I have actually turned down lunch with friends. Neither, do I have time to shop. I need to revel in the glory of my silent house; my fingers dancing on the keyboard, an ice cream for lunch. Me. Me. Me.

Maybe soon I’ll grow wistful, but right now, there’s a party in my house. And I’m the only one invited.

Busy, busy, busy.

No, you can’t join me.

Oh my God! Where is the school bus?!!

I’m standing at the goal, yellow wiffle bat in hand, waiting for the kickball to come my way. We are engaged in a down and dirty game of Frank Ball, think soccer using wiffle bats. It’s a game my oldest made up two years ago, and no his name is not Frank.

It’s a fun game, generally. At least it is when my three boys aren’t playing it. Lately, it seems that we can’t do anything, and I mean, anything without them bickering and fighting, and one of them storming off in tears. Shout out to the middle child.

For the first time, ever, I am ready for them to go back to school. Summer has been a wild ride of baseball and baseball and uh, baseball, but the long days and buggy nights have just gone over my expiration date and like that carton of milk, now I’m sour.

We were good right up till last week, but now there’s a restlessness in the air that settled down like fog on my children. They can’t stop torturing each other. It’s like they feel the change and know summer has come to a close, and there’s nothing left to do but tease each other mercilessly and drive their mother insane.

I never felt a real desire to shove them off. It’s a new experience for me to look forward to the peace that comes with a return to structure, normal bedtimes and a less flexible schedule. They’re changing and growing in amazing and sometimes, annoying ways. And I guess, I’m changing and growing too; learning to let go a little more, and enjoying both the quality time with and without them.

People have asked me how I will spend my days now that I will soon have three children in full time school. It makes me laugh. 8:30am to 3pm is pretty easy to fill. So don’t worry about me, I think I can manage that time to myself without resorting to bonbons and daytime TV.

I smack the ball preventing a goal, but the ball hits the side of the frame resulting in bats being immediately thrown to the ground and my children screaming about whether that constitutes a goal or not.

“Touching counts! It’s a goal!”

“You’re such a cheater!”

It goes on and on, back and forth, until finally I put my own bat down and just walk in the house.

“Mommy!” They scream and run after me. “He cheated!” “Did not!” “He did!” They’re following me, pleading their cases on my wishfully deaf ears. I can’t get away from them.

Only three days, one hours and 23 minutes to go. Not that I’m counting.

Please don't make me take 3 boys to the supermarket ever again!

Why does going to the supermarket alone, sound as blissful as a massage?