Aging has it's drawbacks: the wrinkles, gravity, gray hair, the wrinkles. But lately I'm savoring those little moments in my hectic life as an "almost stay at home mom" (though I'm NEVER home!)with an older and wiser perspective. Like the first day of school when I watched Ana and her new class sing the morning's goodbye song to an anxious crowd of parents. She turned to say "Adios! Goodbye" with the broadest grin and just then I realized I was saying goodbye to my baby and hello to my kindergartener. Our whole world as a family was changing in that very moment. I'd love to think that I'll remember that image forever but as I write this, I'd bet dollars to donuts my memory fails me in nanoseconds. I can't recall the way the morning went 3 years ago when I hugged Shelby, my oldest, on her first day of Kinder. I do, however, remember crying in the car the whole way home that day! But this year, I'm older and wiser, and I only cried on the playground before realizing that mommy's "me time" clock was ticking and 3 hours of kindergarten would go fast! I wish I could cement the image of Shelby in my mind on her first day of school this year; perfect pig tails, bright blue sweater, grinning nervously as she found her "big girl" desk in the third grade classroom-finally a desk that isn't 10 inches off the ground! Upon seeing her own name, and then her best friend's name on the connecting desk, she plopped right down, straightened her back and folded her hands. "Bye Mommy!" she smiled. Well, I guess that does it... This wisened perspective is predicting future burnout, too. Annually, I over commit myself and my kids before September first. Trying out new gymnastics classes, piano lessons, dance. I've managed to cram every morning with classroom volunteering, cooking meals, for the harvest crew, and work. Ever the ambitious family who predictably approaches collosal meltdown phase by week 4 of the school year when we can't manage our hectic life anymore. And then I hate the world. And the best part is, I'm doing it all over again this year with a giddy ignorance. Yay! Sure we'll try that twice a week dance class and, ooh, let's add an art class before school-grrrreeaatt idea! And maybe we can even donate our time to the soup kitchen every Friday night well past a reasonable bedtime because I can't think of any better way to throw my family's sanity to the wolves. I'll check in with reality next week and let you know how Stupidity and The Beast of Commitment are doing.