June was busy with activities (soccer, lacrosse, junior guarding, acting, the ballet performance) that weaned off in July. Now, August has arrived to leave us in the thick of the Vegas summer with hardly any structure to our days at all. These dog days set me on edge.
I'm annoyed by late mornings and pj's at lunchtime. And each time one of my little darlings flops on the couch to point the remote, I seethe a little inside. I find myself scrambling for chores and projects to fill their days. In Iowa, I would have sent them outdoors, but Vegas is too hot, and it's not that kind of place, anyway.
This lack of commitments has Sunshine floating in freedom, so that she's barely in the door before she's asking to go back out again. Outings and sleepovers turn marathon while her dinner chair sits empty, and we see less and less of her.
I know this is the way of things, the way it's supposed to be, the way it needs to be for her to develop the independent life that it's my job to groom her for. But, I don't like it.
I miss her.
I want to scoop her up on my lap, tuck her curls behind her ear and read her another fairytale.
I want to lock the doors and ban her from going out. Again. Ever again!
"But, you just got home...."
"I need you here," I say, which is the heart-filled truth, but I get pragmatic, turn it into an excuse--to clean your room; to help with chores; to play with your sister while I work.
At the very worst of times, I'll snap at her, "No. You're staying home. End of story."
Sunshine's never been one to snap back, but suddenly she is... snapping back.
I thought to blame it on her quitting dance. Partly this might be true. Without a physical outlet, she's moodier--more like me, if I'm honest. But this push back, this teenage rebellion that has arrived, jack-in-the-box like, a few times already, this summer, must be instinctual, self-preservational, a railing at the bars.
In any case, it's exactly the remedy for a mother who wants to stop time, turn it back even: How about Peter Rabbit? It's one of your favorites, isn't?