sea-son / noun
a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature
For about 10 years, I worked closely with my aunt to facilitate an amazing kid's camp on her park-like property near Madison, WI. I jumped in when my oldest was 8 years old (the youngest camper age) and made a private, personal commitment at that time to be fully involved until my youngest kid was no longer "camper age."
I'm not the type of mom that drops her kids off somewhere without knowing all the details. If my young kids are going to be at a camp for 4+ days, well, I guess I'm volunteering at the camp!
It ended up being an amazing opportunity not only for my kids, but for me to step out in areas of leadership, planning and administration that revealed all new strengths I never knew I had. Now, I have the confidence to plan markets and events with lots of moving pieces, because of the chance I got to learn the ropes at camp.
So, this week, we dropped off our youngest son for his first year as a VOLUNTEER.
He's no longer a camper, and I'm retired! It was beyond weird to drop him off and have to wait 3 whole days to hear all about it when I pick him back up.
I spent the afternoon making store deliveries with my husband for his business after dropping off our son.
We mixed business and pleasure and enjoyed a few stops visiting with an aunt and uncle, eating lunch at a restaurant outside (the weather was PERFECT) and walking along the shore of Devil's Lake.
It felt like a glimpse of how it might feel to not have "mom" be my full time job anymore.
It's such a strange season to now be "kidless" for small pockets of time. My son is still at camp while I sit here to write, and my house is silent while my older teens are both at work. It's so different now than when the kids were small and loud and demanding of my attention all day. I remember yearning for a moment of silence, for breaks from the chaos.
But at this age, we're just talking about life, making meals together, hanging out and watching movies together... I love living life with these silly, sweet teenagers and I just might have a quick cry that their overlapping schedules left me alone for a whole hour today. It's okay, don't worry, I'll survive, but it's certainly strange.
As a home school family, it is actually very rare for our house to be empty, so I'm glad I've got some time to adjust before this becomes a regular occurrence!
For now, I suppose I'll just embrace the strange times of being kid free and let myself ease into it. I'm certainly not in any rush!