As so often happens, it's time for school to start, and I find myself looking back with nostalgia over the summer. Don't get me wrong - I'm also breathing about the biggest sigh of relief you've ever heard; but I am doing so with some fond memories.
I've been dreading August for about six months, and driving Josh crazy talking about it for just as long. Since I'm no longer a teacher, August means figuring out what in the world to do with my five children while I show up at the office each day. NOT an easy task. Israel works very much like the European system in terms of the summer, and there are very few organized activities for kids in August. I don't know if the assumption is that everyone has the time and money to vacation, or if the assumption is that the grandparents are supposed to take over while the parents work, or if it's just assumed that we should all collectively pull out our hair and scream for a month. Whatever it is - the facts are that there are few ways to entertain the kids, while keeping them safe. Sigh.
We managed to survive the month with a combination of my mom's visit, my father's visit and amazing vacation up North, many babysitters and a bunch of trading off on Josh and my parts. My policy with the babysitters each day was to take a DEEP breath before I entered the house and to say to myself, "If they're all alive and breathing, then the babysitter did his/her job. Don't look at the mess....don't look at the mess....don't look at the mess."
It has not been the easiest month!
But, as I was driving to work at 6:50 this morning, I realized that I was feeling a bit nostalgic. It's nice for the kids to get out of bed when they want to do so, to play all day and to be creative, and to enjoy some free time. The kids go to school six days a week here, and there is always something going on. Whether they are dealing with homework, drums practice, karate classes and more, there is very little down time.
I'm certainly glad they enjoyed some down time this summer and I'm looking ahead to a smooth transition to school for all!
And the chance, perhaps, to enjoy some of my own down time?
Now that would truly be a miracle!