I was headed to school recently, and for the first time in a while, I realized I wasn’t rushing during my half-hour commute to collect my son. You see, I like to ensure that Im in the pickup line before the principal conducts her mandatory inspection of the “on time” parents before sending out the children whom she knows matches the vehicles in line. My child will not be the one traumatized by being the last kiddo picked up from school.  

What caused me to slow down?  

As a kid, swim team was my jam. I loved having friends on the team separate from friends at school, getting to travel with my mom for weekend swim meets, and I even loved practice, because I knew it was the reason I won many of my meets and could generally find a write up about myself in our local newspaper. I remember my mom being surprised when I took up swimming as a sport. She never enjoyed it, and we didn’t know anyone personally who took the sport to a competitive level, so it was new territory for us. 

So, you’re probably wondering what this is about.  Let’s start with one question: On Saturday morning were you...

Some mornings, I wake up wallowing in self-pity, wanting everyone else in my family to go about their daily business as I continue to lay there. Do I feel this way often? No. But when I do, it is the precursor to impending “bad girl mom” behavior.  

For most of us mamas, fall in Alabama means visiting the pumpkin patch with our kiddos, enjoying pumpkin spice everything, and getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re also one step closer to preparing for Black Friday, and two steps closer to having a vacation during the Christmas holiday season. Whew! There is so much going on here, there, and everywhere that we may not realize our kids are feeling burned out.  

“I’ll be right back. I’m going to get more acetone.”

I smiled and nodded, watching the nail technician step away to refill her nail polish remover. I looked down at my toes. The pink nail polish I successfully reapplied (without removing) for a good year’s time remained, staring back at me in defiance, just as shiny as it was on one of the many (dozens of) times I reapplied it in haste. It was mocking me.

As a kindergarten mother, I am so happy to see my Little back in school. Summer was great, there was a good bit of rest to be had, and, boy, was it had, but… I’ve gained back a huge sense of mommy purpose.

As a child, I loved the movie Heavy Weights. And even though I was slim from competitive swimming (the movie is about kids at a “fat camp”), I absolutely wanted to go. Cabin living, swimming in an icky, green-colored lake, and staying awake all night with friends, sneaking sweets we’ve hidden away from the establishment? Yes, please! 

With the summer in full effect, I’ve started to get antsy. I’m a working mom, and while my schedule is the same as it always is, my now out-of-school son’s structure has dwindled. And by dwindled, I mean there is no structure

So, the camping birthday party happened... and it was fabulous in the most boyish, "manly" way possible. Now that I’ve fully recovered, I’ve got some tips to share with you – five ways to have an amazing, camp-themed birthday party.  

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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