I've achieved a new stage. As has become typical in this life, albeit resisted and wrestled with before I'll admit it, I am embracing the changes.
The piles of shoes and rapidly emptying cupboards and fridge attest to the return of my children for the summer. Laughter and loud music bounce down the hall to me at all hours. It is not just the sour economy that increases the food budget these days. Items that it took months for me to not impulse buy at the grocery, are once again scrawled on the refrigerator's magnet pad. The dishwasher is full in two days -- instead of every 2 weeks!
Surprisingly, the return of the collegiates has once again stirred the nostalgic in me. I do not truly wish to return to the days of delightfully homebound childrearing, but with great fondness I recollect. I praise God for His provision that allowed me to share so many moments unrecorded by word or photos with the kids. The warm sofa time with the newly wakened nappers. Incessent kitchen duty washing plasticware and sponging up spills. Richard Scarry, A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter and Seuss. I loved my travels to Busytown, Pooh Corner and MacGregor's garden. Glitter painted shoes and Osh-Kosh overalls. Nursery school programs and sparky shoes running around a soccer field --chasing lawn moths instead of watching the game. Privately owned moments of motherhood that resonate only in my own soul.
Then we let the kids out into the world for four hours in kindergarten, and the private moments begin to dwindle.