Like many parents I saw my kids off to school today for their first day of grades five and ten. I’m now reaching up to kiss one child and trying to keep up with another who’s a whirlwind.
Like many parents there’s a part of me that is a bit melancholic about the end of summer and what it entails: the knowledge that our time together grows shorter or is changing, fewer days of sleeping in and eating late, cooler nights that herald colder days. I relish a return to more structure for my work because pulling all-nighters to write and edit so that I can spend the day at the beach with my kids takes days to recover from, but the last few days of August and the early days of September are my time to wallow in a bit of sadness. After several days the wallowing will get boring and I’ll return to normal, but for now….wallow wallow.
I’m not fond of strict schedules and haven’t raised my kids that way, but structuring my days while they’re at school flying solo is good. More daylight hours in which to write + time away from my desk to get outside = a more reasonable bedtime and fewer bags under the eyes. Guys, my under eye bags aren’t delicate or cute, they’re the size of hockey bags.
We start every school year with a bit of beachcombing before school drop-off, but just so you don’t sit there thinking, “How does she have time to get ready AND go to the beach and mygawd she’s one of those moms who creates fruit and hummus art for her kids’ lunches,” our morning went something like this:
Me: Wake up, kids.
Me: C’mon, time to get up.
Repeat steps three and four another few (countless) times.
Me: WAKE UP!
Them: Yawn. OKAY, we heard you.
They stumbled to the shower, back to their rooms, downstairs, upstairs, outside — it’s a wonder nobody tripped during all that stumbling — and then they were so rushed that we had to leave for school without breakfast, so this morning the kids ate scrambled eggs, raspberries, and drank juice out of plastic containers in the back of the Jeep while D and I drove them to their first day of school. And so it begins.
We dropped off Bou at his high school and I hopped out to say hi and bye to my niece who was also being dropped off, and because my primary role as the mother of a teenager is to embarrass him whenever I can, I offered to give him a big smooch as his friends were arriving. Sadly he doesn’t embarrass enough — or at all — and he leaned down instead to hug me before going off to find his friends. I’ll hang on to this victory for the days when our primary form of communication consists of him eye-rolling and shrugging and me huffing.
We have almost one hour between the two school start times, so we’ve made it a tradition to head down to the beach for some play time; it’s the calm before the excitement.
The summer sped by; we had family from France for a visit in August, went camping a few times, one of my closest friends came for a sleepover with her family (More of that please!), I took 5 trillions photos, we spent countless hours at the barn, and I spent zero hours working out — Oh, hello, tight pants. — and generally kept a very poor, but full schedule. Sandwiched between all that I still wrote, just not here.
You can make my chocolate, coconut zucchini bread and bacon and cheese jalapeños recipes, which could explain the tight pants, and read about conquering the meeting new people jitters at Yummy Mummy Club.
So…the moral is, I’m back on track. Are you getting there? Or were you always there, in which case I don’t want to hear about it and we likely can’t be friends.