It’s the last few days of summer and my child doesn’t start school until the end of this week.
I’ve gone to every pool, splash pad, museum and play date feasibly possible. I’ve spent countless hours playing Candyland, building kites and rocket ships. I’ve taught my daughter how to play hopscotch, watched Ken and Barbie get married more times than are legal and have suffered several toe injuries thanks to Lego and block building.
I’m done. Stick a fork in me. Done.
With that said, this past week has been really hard. All of my 4-year-old daughter’s friends are in school because they are mostly a year or two older, and so we are in a holding pattern until it is her turn. I’ve been snippy and curt with both of my kids and was starting to feel like I could qualify for the Worst Mother of the Year Award.
I had to do something about the way I was feeling. I had to… fall in love with my daughter again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love her endlessly, but I was starting to get seriously annoyed by all her questions and wanting to be involved in every single one of my actions – including going to the bathroom numerous times a day.
So I took her out on a date night.
My husband and I go on date nights with our children at least once a month. We take turns having fun times with just one of the kids – one-on-one. Friday night was my turn with my daughter. I told her we could go anywhere she wanted – and so of course, she picked Fuddruckers — a hamburger joint. Gotta love a cheap date.
All day she said how excited she was to go on our date. She told neighbors walking by our lawn. She told the grocery store clerk at checkout. She even told a random 1-year-old in a stroller who doesn’t talk yet. I smiled so brightly each time she did it because for the first time in that very long week I felt that same excitement too.
So together we ate big cheesy burgers and wonderfully greasy French fries and we talked about life. OK, so we didn’t really talk about life, but we did talk about why we thought some squirrels fly and others don’t. And I loved it.
As we walked back to the car with our hands held together, it actually hit me. I’m sad to see her go back to school.
Crazy, isn’t it?
I’ve been counting down the days for weeks, but now that the reality is here, I want to just grab her and make time stand still.
Parenting is like that, isn’t it?
You can feel so overwhelmed one moment and the next you are strolling through a parking lot, holding hands with your favorite girl in the world.
Danielle Herzog is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to two children.
Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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