I feel really bad about it, but apparently, frogs (toads?) like to hop around in the moonlight around 5:30 am. And that is precisely when I am grabbing my scriptures, swiping on some lipstick and backing up the minivan to head to Seminary. Splat.
Needless to say, the children are disgusted with me.
Frogs (toads?) are not the only ones feeling flattened around here. Although I am thrilled to be back to the structure of a school year, I find it uber-exhausting. I forgot how the clock ticks so much faster in September. I forgot how afternoon kindergarten chops up a day. I forgot about soccer practice and reading logs and back-to-school nights.
I want to do it all--teach, volunteer, exercise, create, clean, organize, read, rest, write, learn, play, save, spend, serve--but the evershrinking autumn daylight just doesn't stretch to cover it all.
As a new stay-home-mom, I remember feeling completely terrified of the unstructured day. Hours loomed before me like a giant baby blanket spread upon the floor with no beginning, middle or end. I worried about losing control, wearing pj's all day, becoming addicted to The Price is Right. So I printed up schedules, joined a gym, signed up for mommy-and-me, cleaned while listening to educational CD's, and got organized.
These days I'm on the lookout for ways to slow down. It's tough. I've gotten pretty good at time management and multi-tasking, but the people in my life aren't tasks. They don't like being checked off a list. This morning I chose to sit with Emily at the piano as she practiced. The breakfast dishes didn't get done according to my usual time-frame. But where exactly is it written that the Cinnamon Toast Crunch has to be out of sight before 7:55 am?
And where is it written that bedtime stories are only for bedtime? Instead of helping me make my bed, this morning the Twinks got under the covers with me and we read Jack and the Beanstalk and A Sister for Sam. It was a cozy start on a rainy Wednesday and nobody died because the bed wasn't tidied by ten.
If there is any lesson to be learned in September, it is that time flies. Colors change. Days shrink. I don't want my life measured by the length of my To Do lists. Busiest does not equal best. My goal is to consciously carve out moments to do the things that matter. With the ones who matter.
Jake is the only one who hasn't had such a moment today. But I think he'd be thrilled if I woke him tomorrow at five, gave him a flashlight and joined him on the driveway to rescue a few fortunate frogs (toads?). It just might help me feel a little better, too.