Okay, maybe not the first day per se, but what the first day portends. The first day is always exciting and sort of fun. It’s every day after that. I’m pretty sure I’m an anomaly, but I don’t like back to school.
Back to school starts the program that has me feeling like I’ve been shot out of a cannon at 6:45 am and in which my rapid trajectory doesn’t cease until I fall into bed around 11 at night. It’s the “Do you have your lunch money?” “Do you have your CTA pass?” “What do you mean you need three sheets of poster-board by tomorrow?”
I love the languid days of summer. I love how quiet the house is in the morning, whether I choose to sleep late, like all three of my teenagers, or whether I’m up early, sipping coffee and tapping away at my computer in the silence. There’s no rush to these days. We eat when we’re hungry, passing each other at random hours in the kitchen, where we often end up in some good one-on-one conversations. There are no pick-ups to be at or as many lessons to get to. The free form lack of structure is totally awesome.
But now we’re back in the routine of alarm clocks blaring from all corners of the house at 6 a.m. Of “Hurry up!” and “Finish your breakfast, it’s time to go” and “Did you brush your teeth?” and “Whose notebook is it on the stairs?” and the dreaded, “No, I will not drive the paper you left on the printer all the way down to your school…Your whole grade depends on it? Be there in half-an-hour.” Sigh.
The house is silent now. I’m sipping coffee and tapping away at my computer. But this silence is not the same, because I know that at any moment I will not be interrupted by one of my kids stopping into my office and plunking down in the chair to just hang out. My children are now scattered about in different parts of this city and that just means opportunity for this mom’s creative imagination to find all sorts of reasons to worry.
Back to school means the end of summer. Another year going by. I know in a few hours they'll be barreling through the door again, regaling me with first day of school tales and gossip, fixing snacks and making a mess, But right now I miss them. I miss having them close.