Do the Happy Dance


I did it! I survived the summer! I know, some of you moms are weeping in your Frosted Flakes this morning as your little ones made their first journeys to kindergarten. Some of you are just sad that summer and all your extra time together has come to an end. I have been both of you, but today I’m the mom I never thought I’d be. I’m the mom that shouted “Hallelujah” at the Silence of the Zoo!

Don’t get me wrong, I love lazy days and lemonade and picnics by the pool, but with these kids at home, the grocery bill is somewhere around $500 a week, and I think a whopping $50 of that is just toilet paper, so YES! Enjoy them Tigerland. I will pick them up at 3pm.

It’s funny how much we’ve grown up around here. There was no grumbling to get out of bed. None. I didn’t have to shoot anyone with a water gun or drag anyone to their feet. Although Tucker did tell me “Mom, you have to stand up because if you’re in bed, I’m gonna fall back asleep.” To be fair, it was Daddy who was trying to sleep through the 6:30 wake-up call while I was trying to fix Kailynn’s hair.

My little Diva turned 8 yesterday. This is the magic year of 3rd grade. That’s the year Blondie decided she wanted to do her own hair, so I’m prepared for that show of independence and I’ve spent the summer trying to teach my little fashionista how to tame her beautiful mane of curls, or at least how to comb through it by herself. I’d say we’re about halfway there. This morning she had a special request- 2 buns! She wanted one on top of her head, and one in back. I did exactly what she wanted, and I was completely prepared to keep my mouth shut, but her brothers unleashed with the brutal honesty pretty quickly when they unanimously decided she looked like the mom from “Meet the Robinson’s.”


I encouraged her to keep it if she liked it, but she decided they had a point, and we went with the tried and true pony tail of cascading curls. You can’t go wrong with that one. When Daddy finally did open his eyes, all he said was “What happened to the balls on your head?” Didn’t you mean buns, hun?

We got everyone ready in record time, and we were out the door to take our annual picture, only my favorite “stand in front of the trees” spot was entirely too muddy. Of course Dyl Pickle decided the Rumble Bee makes a good photo backdrop, which meant the rest of the boys had to pose of the three-wheeler, but hey, I got pictures, so I best just smile and nod, and go with the 7am flow even if we did have a photo-bomber!


Dyl Pickle and Messy Jessy… I guess they’re too old for those nicknames, but Dylan and Jessica just seems way too grown up! These two went to Discovery Days together!!

And there’s my ZooCrew, all dressed up in their new shoes, (and my little Diva managed to buy hers last night with her birthday money just in time for the first day. She had to completely change her outfit plans, but you know shoes are everything to some girls!)


No one is left in elementary school. My little ones are in intermediate, and Tucker is ending Junior High but it’s this one that is gonna make me cry. Last spring a very brave girl invited him to the prom and it’s been young love all summer long. And he’s a senior. And he’s complained about getting out of bed for the past decade and suddenly he said “I gotta go, I gotta get Emily and some breakfast tacos” and he had a smile on his face, so when I saw him at the taco place I did what any good mother would do…



I pulled up and took his picture for the third time in one day. He grumbled, but I said “It’s senior year, Bud, get used to it” and I drove away with a little tear in my eye because I know I’m gonna have to let this boy go soon. He’s not my little Dyl Pickle like he used to be. But thank God he still hugs me every now and again.

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