I try not to throw that word that starts with an S around too much, you know, that word that denotes a more rigid schedule, lost freedoms, early mornings, papers, projects, tests, and maybe late nights. Can you hear that? Is that the sound of your own cry resonating from the bowels of your own childhood? Or is it the sound of your highlighter excitedly marking the new school year calendar?
I have one child who just doesn’t participate in any S conversations – said child is on the fence from what I can gather. I don’t press the conversation; I know what thoughts and emotions linger in the space between us. It’s about to be a transition year, a release into new wilderness. Too much mention of S only brings in the clouds for the rest of summer. It’s as if I have the power to control the weather with my choice of words – and I want the sun to keep shining.
On the other hand, I have one child who hounds me to go school supply shopping at least every other day. I find screenshots and written lists around the house of back-to-school essentials. Said child makes MY stomach turn. “Shhh…we have plenty of time,” I whisper as I push her words away for the time being. It’s too much confrontation. And it’s not like the last school supplies are going to be swept off shelves like bread before a snowstorm anytime soon.
Part of my resistance towards accepting the imminent end of summer is completely selfish. My mornings are not as orchestrated as I always envision: I make two okayish lunches, tell myself I will get up earlier the next morning so I can workout or work before the kids get up (my son gets me up all too often), dig for clothes in the dryer, look for hair ties, and hopefully have a shower before leaving as late as my kids will let me. They like to be timely to school. Actually early. So at least I have that going as a motivator. Then the nights are consumed with activities and homework – you all know how that goes. And in between it all are work and errands and dinner making and dog walking. No more impromptu weeknight movies and get togethers to push back bedtime. And I LOVE adventuring in the summer, being together as a family.
Okay, okay. Before I type out anymore irretrievable words, I have to interject that it’s definitely not all doom and gloom. I am so grateful for every single day. The school year brings new friends, new opportunities, growth (inner and outer), and pushes boredom away. But if I am being completely transparent, the school year does ring in a level of stress that summer sends away. Maybe I am feeling particularly anxious this year because I have one starting middle school and one starting high school. It’s about to get real real.
So what side of the fence are you on?
a. I can’t wait for my kids to go back to school
b. Nooooooo, summer please don’t end
c. Depends on the day