Hooray, it’s September and all the kiddies are back in school. Whew! What a long summer it seemed to be. Trips to the pool, a family beach vacation, visits to and with friends, movies, skating, bounce housing, so many activities to be organized while the kids were at home. I felt like a cruise director. Then Labor Day weekend arrived. The end was in sight. New backpacks hung on hooks by the door, overloaded grocery bags stuffed full of school supplies slumped in the front hall ready for the first day of school. My youngest was excited to ride the bus, my oldest – more jaded – walked around the house in a funk complaining that summer wasn’t long enough. Friends moaned about missing the lackadaisical summer days and whined about the busy school year full of extracurricular activities and homework ahead.
Not me. I counted down the days, hours-minutes until Tuesday morning. Up early, bright-eyed and bushy tailed I welcomed school day. I packed lunches for both the kids, fed them a delicious and nutritious breakfast, double checked the back packs and drilled the youngest on his bus number. I walked around house singing the Andy William’s Christmas song; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I was excited to have a whole day to myself. The first day I’d have to get my work done without juggling whiny, hungry, bored kids. I had all sorts of plans (only half of which were accomplished). Then the bus came, I waved my kids goodbye, got in my car and followed the bus to school so I could get photos of the kids getting off the bus and walk them to class. I said my final goodbyes and wandered to the cafeteria where the school’s PTO hosted a “Boohoo-Woohoo Tea.” A place where parents could meet other parents, grab a cup of coffee, and commiserate or celebrate over the start of school. I chatted with friends, had a bite to eat, then it was over and I returned to my silent home.
Shockingly, I actually missed my kids. Yes, I started working on edits for an upcoming publication, and began writing my next manuscript in blessed silence. I didn’t have to stop to feed them in the middle of the day, or organize an outing, or break up a fight. But, still I found myself a little teary-eyed over the loss of my rowdy, bickering kids. I’d been one of those moms dancing around, anxious for the new school year to start, yet when it actually came to pass, my feelings could only be described as…bereft.
Luckily, that only lasted for a few days. Now we’re starting week two and we’ve gotten into our routine. So far, the kids are cooperative in the morning. I’m getting to the gym on a regular basis, and work is moving along at a good clip, although not as quickly as I’d originally expected. (Isn’t that always the way?)
So what about you? Do you have kids heading back to school? What were your feelings about the return to a routine? Did you start something new in your life? Perhaps you’re heading back to school yourself? Are you a Boohoo or Woohoo parent when it comes to the new school year?