Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And They're Off!

When I was growing up, my mom did not like to see the start of school. She missed having the 6 of us around the house, fighting and screaming, making messes and mayhem. Most of all, however, I think she missed the companionship.

This summer represents the 20th school vacation I have taken with my children. The first 15 were great. We took trips, made cookies, learned new things like how to sew or how to do laundry. We went to the zoo, went on all day shopping sprees, visited with friends. I understood how my mom did not want the summers to end. Then.....we adopted!!!

Now, the new kids need the vacations as much as our older children, but there are many more hurdles to jump. Raising our newest three wasn't starting from scratch (like you do with a newborn), especially in the relationship department. So, you don't just get into the car and drive to the zoo 4 hours away! In fact, you don't get everyone in the car unless you absolutely need too! So, the last 2 years of summer vacation have been more chore than fun. The special care of children with mental health issues can sideline the most gung-ho family!

The biggest impact has been on the 4 oldest children--losing the freedom that we had been so used to. There was no trip to the cave on the Canadian border or playing "Look at me! I'm in Canada! Now I'm in the U.S.!" (This game Is a favorite with most of our visitors as well!) Summer has become a chore, passing the highest need children, usually 2, to one person while the others go out to the movies or something otherwise fun. It does not make for a fun "family" time when the whole family doesn't participate.

Hopefully, with some more counseling, patterning of normal family interaction, maturity and a good mother's helper, we will get to have a vacation next year. In the time, back to the title...they are off--to school, that is. The last one starts tomorrow at 12:05 and I have 2 hours free to do what I want!!!