Depleted

Depleted

A museum-fatigued Emme asleep on a bench in Barcelona. July 2018

A museum-fatigued Emme asleep on a bench in Barcelona. July 2018

This is an old, old post… I wrote it in 2013, five years ago, but there is something poignant about it. The depletion, the strange prescience to know life wouldn’t always be like that… As I begin my blog again, it seemed to make sense to start here, looking backward at where I was while embarking on a new journey to be where I am.


My family is sick lately.

We’re not usually sick – we get regular flu shots and for the most part, we’re all rather healthy, even in the middle of flu and cold season. No one has severe allergies or any sort of “-itis” or any kind of condition. We’re really lucky like that.

But something shifted late last week.

My younger daughter has been a little out-of-sorts, crying, upset. My middle daughter collapsed from a mild case of heat stroke on a Sunday hike (she’s fine, thankfully, just needed a lot of R&R and water) and missed most of her classes on Monday.  My oldest daughter, already in pain from the final rigorous phase of her last month of wearing braces, said she felt like she was going to black out this morning and collapsed into a catatonic heap on my bed before school.

I wondered aloud to my husband, What is going on?

But I know. I feel it, too.

We’re depleted, plain and simple. Depleted of the energy required to go through the motions of a regular schedule. Sick of waking up early and running all day long, only to have hours of homework after school (when they should really be outside, playing, enjoying the real, natural world). Ready for the unstructured freedom of summer.

What is it about the sun that makes our minds wander?

At the start of every school year – or, really, a month into it, around October – we’re ready for the structure and discipline of winter. It seems as though the cold weather inspires a kind of nose-to-the-grindstone attitude, followed by the rewards of holidays and New Year celebrations. And just past the new year, we have a plethora of faux-holiday days off that keep our stamina up. But after Spring Break, it’s all about the last few months of school, the “final push before summer.”

Blah blah. I hate it.

This morning after I dropped Serena off at school, I watched Emme sleeping in her bed, mouth open slightly, dreaming, her braces enjoying their final weeks in her mouth.

It won’t always be like this, a voice inside my head admonished. Someday in the very near future, my little ducklings will have to finish up their little lives here with me and go off in search of their own paths. And at that time, will any of this rigor matter? What will missed homework and sick days and even school itself mean?

Not much.

Watching her sleep, I recognized the trap we fall into, believing that we have to do this, or we have to do that. And I was a junkie for good grades and being the best at my job, etc. Just last night (and again this morning on the way to school), I lectured Serena on not falling behind in homework because the due date is several days away (and other homework tends to pile up, on top of it). To tell the truth, I got sick of hearing my own voice lecturing, mostly because I don’t get the point of so much homework.

Is it just me? Or are you feeling depleted too??

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