Sunday, August 1, 2010

grumpiness, battle of the wills, and a 20-year reunion

My family is grumpy.

The kind of grumpiness that comes from a mixture of way too many late nights in a row, being homesick for your own bed and your own space, and that melancholy feeling that no matter how long you have had with people you love, you will still miss seeing them around now that it has become the norm.

Poor Lucy has had the worst of it, I'm afraid.

We are in the midst of a serious "battle of the wills" right now.

And it's killing me.

I am sitting outside where she's supposed to be taking a nap with my back against the door to hold her in there. I know that sounds mean but seriously, she HAS to get some sleep. She is so tired she can hardly see straight. She is bawling her head off because she wants her Dora doll I threatened to take away if she kept at her incessant screaming, which she did.

And I'm wishing with all my might I had chosen a different threat.

The poor girl has slept in three different beds over the last four nights (which is hard for her anyway), and has been up each night multiple times with bad dreams or just falling off where she's supposed to be sleeping. And there have been no naps in sight for a long time.

For the last week or so she has been asking incessantly when we are going home, and man alive, I am ready to get her there...into her own bed.

The wheels are falling off the bus.

No one has practiced forever. No reading time has been enforced for the last week. Summer goals have flown out the window. My kids have complained and whined and argued about everything from not getting the right color plate at lunch to who gets to sit in which seat in the car.

Yes, it is time for our summer adventure to draw to a close. I suppose all good things must eventually come to an end. We must get back to real life where potty training, school preparation, blistering heat and getting serious about finishing summer goals in the next week loom ominously before us.

On Friday, after scrubbing and cleaning 'til blisters started popping out, we bid adieu to this beautiful sight:
(But not without me commanding my kids over and over to soak in the beauty of the lake as it's rich radiance shrunk slowly behind us in the distance...and making Grace take this picture out her window as we sped on to new adventures.)

We met up with Dave in Salt Lake and got to stay at his sister's house for the weekend (more pictures on that when I get them downloaded from my other camera).

The kids had fun with more cousins while Dave and I went to my 20-year high school reunion.

I am aware of this fact: 20-year high school reunions are for old people. But there my dear friends and I were, amidst our wrinkles and a sea of vaguely familiar other faces from the past, celebrating twenty years of knowing each other, becoming who we are with each other, and being thankful that we had each other to cling to for better or for worse through those high school years (two of our best friends were missing because of other family obligations...we missed you guys!).
I am one of those people who loved high school. I cried when it ended. It was pretty interesting to see how people I haven't kept in touch with over the years have changed and become themselves since then. I was so happy Dave was able to come with me.(Can you tell?)

And now we head tomorrow we'll all be sleeping soundly in our own beds, with thousands of pictures and memories of a summer well spent with people we adore.


  1. Wow, sounds as though all the traveling and being away from home is taking its toll on Lucy. Hopefully she'll be a lot happier and give you more peace now you're back at home.

    And you look so great in those pictures from your reunion, Shawni! You've got such a beautiful smile.

  2. I'm gonna miss your stories about the lake too:( I have thought about the post where you are trying to have your kids all soak it in before they become "too busy" with summer jobs and what not and will have to miss this wonderful family tradition, but they might surprise you.

    The year I was to be born (just after Christmas) my dad invited his brothers and sisters to his house for Christmas. 34 YEARS later, the tradition stands that the Olson Clan will meet for Christmas. 4 days, all under one roof. There are 31 of us now and we almost all make it. It was something I looked forward to all year as a child and I wouldn't miss it for the world now. We don't always all make it (babies being born and stuff) but it is such a special tradition that we ALL try to make it each year...

    Your kids might surprise you:)

  3. We just came home from a 3 week trip to England to visit my family and we slept in 9 different places during that time, so I can feel with you and your kids. We wouldn't have missed it for the world but it's sooo nice to be home and in our own beds again! Re: school reunion - I had my high school reunion not long ago and I too could hardly believe that I am that old! Oh well, who cares how old we are - it's how we feel inside, right? ;)

  4. Been there, done that (holding the door closed)...honest, and I felt exactly the same way you did...everytime. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs ever, for so many reasons, although I think holding your ground & not second guessing your decisions is at the top of the list.

    A fall back to familiar settings and routines will bring sanity.

    Great post - and you all look as if you are at your 10th reunion, not your 20th!

  5. Good to know I'm not the only one who loved high school! My 20th reunion will be next summer.

  6. I had to laugh when I read that you were sitting with your back next to the door so Lucy would stay in and take a nap! been there. Done that. I can smile now but at the time, it was rough! Sometimes it is good to get back to normal....whatever that is!

  7. Shawni, you should know that I adore you and your blog and all the marvelous mothering moments you share. And yet, it did my heart well to hear of your family's grumpiness and of your honesty in the battle of wills. Now I am beyond just admiring you... but KNOW that we could be friends :)

  8. Ohhh.. Poor Lucy. Carly does not sleep well either. She will fall asleep for a few minutes, then be up all night after I zonk out. Eating, painting, eating, spilling stuff, eating more...

    It is very difficult and I wish I could say she will out grow it - but Ashley only sleeps about 4 hours a night too. At least she stays in her bed reading or writing all night long.

  9. I love the idea of summer goals, but not sure where to start. Can you share some of yours? Thanks!

  10. So glad to see that some of your summer goals, reading, practicing, naps, etc. have flown out the window a little too. I was just beating myself up over this very fact this afternoon! Such is the life of summer I guess...

  11. It is hard to be away from home for a long time.. I hope everyone gets some rest soon.

  12. Hang in there Shawni, it will all be a memory in no time.
    Yikes! holding the door shut, she is strong willed. I feel for ya. I'll tell you something my granma used to tell me, "This too shall pass." I have to remind myself of this often.

  13. yeah, Shawni, wrinkles. Whatever. You looked fabulous...of course, I expected no less. ;-)

  14. Awww, what an awesome month to have, but all good things must come to an end and it is amazing how ready you can be for them to end when it comes time. What a great family you have, I look up to all of you and what a rarity to have such amazing parents and siblings, count yourself very lucky!

  15. Twenty years has worn well on every one of these precious friends! What a lot of beautiful people!

    Give Lucy hugs from Grammie and Grandfather!


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