It has been nearly two years since I have published a post to this blog. I’m not sure how that happened – when I started this blog in 2012, I was fairly disciplined about writing and posting, motivated by the lovely comments and feedback, and of course to the inevitable sharpening of my writing that constant writing often does. But, somehow it has been 22 months since I sat at my computer – an event that occurs countless times each day – and hit the publish button on this blog. I write blog posts all the time – in my mind. While trying to settle my mind for sleep after a long day, when taking a long shower or while sitting in traffic waiting for the light to change. So many thoughts – most useful perhaps to only me – but thoughts that help me manage that work life balance that I never seem to perfect. I never started this blog with a grand design to have anyone actually read the darned thing – I just wanted an online diary to chronicle my thoughts so they did not become fleeting memories in the hustle and bustle of my family’s busy life. My boys just completed their respective school years and I am sitting here, the Sunday evening before their first day of camp, an emotional and nervous mess. Regardless of how rigorous our routine is, I thrive on the comfort that routine brings. Wake up, get ready for work and school, hit the carpool lane, work all day while the boys are at school and come home within an hour of the school bus dropping them off to pick them up from my neighbor, who has watched them as though they were her own since they were babies. Tomorrow all that changes. Plenty of families look forward to the relaxing summer pace that occurs when school lets out for the June-July-August siesta. For my hubby and I, whose work schedules remain the same regardless of the season, we no longer have the wonderful comfort blanket known as school, to account for their time while we work. I don’t know why this hurts me – I have been a working mother since they were born – but something them being available for time with me and me not being able to spend that time with them is a hard pill to swallow. I love my work and am self actualized by it, but there is nothing I would rather do than snuggle or trade smiles and bad knock knock jokes with those crazy boys of mine. So tomorrow, we will get up at our usual weekday time and head to camp – at the childcare center that I work for – and get ready for a new, summertime routine. I’ll look wistfully at the cars in my neighbor’s garages (lots of teachers in my neighborhood will be home for a MUCH deserved summer break) and prepare to drop my nervous, excited boys off to their first camp experience. I’m a half mile away if they need me – and I have no doubt I will find many excuses to drop by and see how they are settling in -but the summer vacation routine always takes a bit of getting used to. My oldest son will ask – at least once a Monday – why he has to get up as early as he did during the school year, which will lead to that inevitable questioning of why I have to work when Johnny’s, Jane’s and Jimmy’s moms do not. The silver lining in all of this is the perpetual reminder that no matter how hard it is to say goodbye to these babies of mine, when we are once again reunited at the end of the work and camp day, the smiles and hugs I get will remind me just how loved my husband and I am. To have someone to miss THAT much is truly a blessing – and while it won’t make me any less sad to think of the fun someone else gets to have with my boys while I spend the day in meetings or at my desk – one peek at the menagerie of photos frames featuring those blue-eyed boys of mine will remind me of the love waiting for me when I walk in the front door that night. To love someone and have them return that love is the greatest gift there is. Sweet summertime memories with the three loves of my life await – even if those memories take place on Saturdays, Sundays and after the clock strikes 5pm. Happy Summer, friends!