Monday, August 6, 2012


I have been anticipating this day for three months.

Summers are tiring in a house full of 10 kids. There isn’t enough to do to keep everyone busy and out of trouble for months on end, and in a state that is kill-you-hot during the summer, that means a lot of long hours in the house...

Luckily we made it through the vacation months with fantastic kids and very little real drama. 

June and July had me looking forward to today, the first day of school. In my mind, school means hours and hours of free time during the day. And more than free... Quiet... Ahhh...

But school brings its own kind of work.

Let me run you through what the first day of school looks like in our unique family.

Wake everyone up
Direct traffic
Scrambled 16 eggs
Send two boys back to change (orange striped polo with blue plaid cargo shorts? Please try again)
Produce one ponytail
Pack 8 lunches (prepared the night before)
Take multiple “first day” photos
Hug, Kiss, Cheer

Andy walks six elementary schoolers, and one Joey in a wagon, to school

Two high schoolers walk out the door to their bus stop

Blend up a green smoothie (my new favorite thing) and wiggle into my gym  clothes

CrossFit with Andy - spent a lot of energy working on my push ups (in other words, I'm horrible at pushups and tried to not be so horrible at them), but showed off my awesome pistols (one-legged squats)

Chase down Joey, who has stripped himself naked while Andy and I were working out and is running wild in the parking lot (don’t worry - it is a closed parking lot and big kids were playing with him)

Blah, blah, blah

Lunch for Jack and Joey
Put dinner in the crockpot

Naps for everyone!

Andy walks back to school to fetch kids

Chaos ensues
Papers to sign. Oh the papers to sign.
Make snack (popcorn and chocolate/peanut butter/banana/kale smoothies with coconut milk!)
Handle THREE meltdowns over reading
Listen to Joey laugh hysterically as he played “school” with our 1st grader
Sympathize with tears over missed friends (five of our kids had to move to a new school this year)

Run to Target for additional school supplies needed
Wonder why I thought school would be easier than summer

Andy plays tee ball with Jack and the kids at home
Get kids started on showers

Dinner on the table
Remind everyone AGAIN about table manners

Noise, noise, noise
Almost scream a number of times

“Go brush your teeth!”
Hide in the bathroom for three minutes, until patience has been calmed and prepared for the last few minutes of the day

Bedtimes stories for all! 

Send to bed
Tuck in Jack and Joey
Prayers and back scratches for the girls
Head scratches and more prayers for the boys

Find Andy for a brief hug and high-five
Quickly get the day on paper
Marvel at the sweet exhaustion of family life

Snap the laptop shut
Get out the ice cream
Watch the Olympics

Collapse in bed

Realize that I didn’t make lunches for tomorrow and decided, oh well, what’s one more thing to do tomorrow?
And that is it.

Tomorrow is another day. Another series of hours connected by joy, frustration, crazy and serene. Another day to love and make mistakes and do my very best to... do my best. 

And now, to my sweet dreams. Minus the remembering that I didn’t make lunches part. 


theconfidentmom said...

You are an inspiration! Thank you for serving selflessly......

Adriane said...

You are so impressive! Now to go make a banana/peanut butter/kale smoothie...

Alissa Maxwell said...

Here's what I read between the lines:
- Eight lunches packed = eight kids that will know in the middle of the stress of a new school or school year that they are cared for.
- "Go brush your teeth!" = you are valued and we want you to value yourself.
- After school snack = we are in this together.
- Paperwork and school supplies = I am paying attention and your success matters.
- Listening ear, backs scratched, heads scratched = love, love, love
- CrossFit, Ice Cream, Olympics = you are taking care of yourself, too.

Blessings, strength, and energy to you as you tackle the next year... one day at a time.

Emily said...

Alissa, thank you for your insight. You have cheered me!