It's even stranger for me to see all my friends posting about being "empty nesters" during the school day, having sent their entire brood off to school. This is not only because we're rather entrenched homeschoolers now, and it's not only because I can't personally imagine sending my kids off to school in the middle of a pandemic, but because we're suddenly "starting over."
Alexander would be eligible for preschool this year (if preschool were a thing I was enthusiastic about (I wasn't ever entirely enthusiastic about it even when we weren't homeschooling)), so my house could have also been empty. Instead it's full of children all day, every day...
...and I'm busy counting down the days until we completely rewind the clock of independence.
I don't mind having the kids around—I like 'em—but I have to admit it would be nice to have a break from the chaos every once in a while.
Yesterday I took them off to the pool again—which isn't a break from the cyclone of chaos that they are, mind you; it's simply moving the cyclone of chaos to another location—and when we came home they were still, you know, being their wonderful chaotic selves...in spite of having spent enough time in the water and sun to have worn anybody out.
(As Grandpa keeps reminding me, I should lower my expectations; there's really no magical exchange that takes place at the park or the pool. The kids run around acting wild and then they just...stay that way. There's no such thing as wearing kids out. Not really.)
Well, we spilled through the door into the house stomping and shoving and yelling, chucking towels, tripping over kicked-off sandals, fighting over bathroom rights. It was a sight to behold.
Andrew flew out of his office and rushed out to the entry way.
"What's going on?!" he asked in a panic. "What happened?"
"Nothing," I sighed, plopping down the pool bags. "This is literally just us coming home. Why? Did you miss us?"
He thought someone had broken an arm or something. It was that loud when we came inside.
Sometimes the chaos gets to be a bit much. It probably doesn't help that all we've had, really, is each other and our own four walls for the past 530 days (since March 13, 2020).*
And now here we are, only 99 days until another one comes along.
Which I'm sure will be wonderful. She might add a few more gusts to the cyclone of chaos we've already got going on. But it will be wonderful. Still, it's just a little surreal to think about starting all over again. And it's surreal to me that I even think of this as starting all over again because Alexander isn't that old. But it's certainly not going to be the same thing as moving on from one baby to the next (clearly since we gave up the crib everyone else used).
* Andrew did start teaching in person again this past Monday. Rather unfortunately, in our opinion. Case numbers in our state are...not great.