Tuesday, September 02, 2008

All the other mothers on my block are having a party, but I'm not invited.

Because let's face it, I just don't relish the first day back to school the way they do and who wants a spoil sport standing around counting the days till summer vacation (277) when you are busy celebrating your freedom?

It's too quiet! I miss my kids! I am already dreading parent teacher conferences! And Worst Of ALL?! I HAD TO BE UP AT 6 AM THIS MORNING! Oh, woe and madness, my beloved lazy summer is gone! No more sleeping in, no more morning cuddles, no more going to work in my pajamas. It's over. Now I have to make sure people are up and fed and vitamined and lunch moneyed and then later? We'll have to start having dinner on a regular schedule and, possibly the second worst thing in the world, I will have to enforce a bedtime! It's a tragedy, I tell you, a tragedy of monumental proportions. HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE CELEBRATE AT A TIME LIKE THIS!!!

Okay, they aren't really having a party, but there is definitely a celebratory feeling among some of the other mothers I know and I must confess, I've entertained some uncharitable thoughts about these mothers. I used to think maybe they just didn't really like their kids as much as I do, or perhaps I am merely blessed with superior children! (Yes! That must be it!)

However, I've been rethinking my position and now I'm feeling a little less smug because it would seem that it's not that my children are so wonderful or that I, their sainted mother, am so patient and perfect. (I know, I'm as shocked as you are! Although I am forced to admit that those factors may have some bearing on the outcome.) No, I think the real reason is much simpler then that, it's mainly the age difference.

My kids are 8.5 years apart and they have no sibling rivalry that I can detect. I used to worry that my kids were so far apart they would hardly know each other, wouldn't share any of the same interests, certainly wouldn't share any of the same friends and probably wouldn't be interested in the same toys. But I was wrong and I could never have imagined or dared to wish that they would get along as famously as they do.

Now, I'm not saying that they never have an argument, they definitely get into it from time to time. But it's nothing like the daily battles my brother and I would wage. At only 2.5 years apart we openly despised each other, pausing only for birthdays and holidays. Seriously. We had knock down drag out fights every single day. It was part of our routine, come home from school, have a snack, watch some tv, get into a fight about something petty, lather, rinse, repeat. It sounds ridiculous when I write about it now, but we were really like that and my mother was like all the other "normal" mothers, she couldn't wait for us to go back to school! When I think about it from that perspective, I find that I have a little more sympathy for those other mothers.

"Oh, look, Muffy! It's past noon, the little darlings will be home again in just a couple of hours! Pour me another martini."

(Psst! Only 119 days till Winter Vacation! WOOHOO!)

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Marriage is love.