It’s back to school season again and with this transition can come a lot of stress and anxiety. Some of us are dealing with the ordinary stresses of finding school supplies and the “right” first day of school outfits while others are dropping their babies off at college. It’s a tough time for some of us parents right now. I’ve been on both sides and they can be equally challenging in their own ways. Today, however, all I am thinking is, “PRAISE JESUS SHE IS GONE FOR 8 CONSECUTIVE HOURS!”
I know how that sounds and to those of you crying in the corner, eating ice cream straight from the container, I apologize. I know you wish your crazy kids were still at home eating everything in sight so you didn’t actually have any Ben and Jerry’s to gorge yourself on, but seriously. You know what I am talking about. You are just in an “empty nest” stupor right now. It will pass and you will begin to appreciate the fact that THEY DON’T LIVE WITH YOU ANYMORE! But if you just can’t get on board to laugh with me right now I understand and you should cease reading this blog IMMEDIATELY!
Give me a little time and I, too, will be eating my ice cream in the corner wishing someone needed me, but today? Today, I am so grateful for the first day of school. My baby. My 16-year-old, beautiful ray of sunshine needs to go to school before I lose my mind. She can’t decide if she loves me or she hates me and everything that I do. Lately, it’s been the latter. Don’t quote me, but I believe her words tonight went something like this: You don’t care about me, you obviously hate me, you don’t want to hear about my feelings and I just want to be alone. I wanted to reply that I felt exactly the same way but instead I crawled into bed with the little ingrate and tried to love on her. Eventually she relaxed and seemed to accept the fact that I wasn’t leaving while I silently counted the hours until her departure into 11th grade.
I told you this blog wasn’t for the faint of heart. I love my daughter and next year when she is entering her senior year I will be wallowing in my imminent depression and savoring every moment, but right now I am counting all the ways in which I am grateful for school.
Let’s start with meals. When your little princess has to be at school early, breakfast happens in a rather small amount of time instead of spread over hours. No longer can she stroll downstairs at 9:30 am to fix herself an appetizer of cereal and then come down and make a real breakfast an hour later. And lunch? During the summer months, lunch is an endless supply of food that streams from the pantry and refrigerator until dinner. We never have any food according to her which I guess means we don’t have chips an assortment of drinks, cheese sticks or cereal. Life is hard.
Now, when school begins the laundry increases exponentially due to volleyball and conditioning, but it’s worth it. I would do laundry for days just to have a little bit of quiet contemplation.
My little Angel got her driver’s license this spring so I no longer have to drive her EVERYWHERE and that in and of itself saves me roughly 1.5 hours each day. That is enough to walk my dogs and workout!
I mistakenly thought this summer she would be constantly hanging out with friends. I really believed we would have to put the hammer down on her social life. I was wrong. She is a homebody! She is perfectly happy to be home, eating snacks and watching Netflix. She doesn’t want to have friends over or go anywhere. This is part of the reason that our sweet girl NEEDS TO GO TO SCHOOL. We have had just a little too much together time if you know what I mean. Next summer she is getting a JOB because volleyball and conditioning are not enough to keep this girl occupied.
I realize I am making it sound like it has been a real chore to have her around and that is not the case at all. It’s just that by mid-August I need a little break to remind myself of how much I love my fire-breathing she dragon! It’s perfectly normal to want to miss them… just a little.
So, for all of you parents out there acting like you aren’t ready for summer to end, the jig is up. It’s okay, we won’t tell your kids. We will park beside you in the drop-off line and tell our kids how much we are going to miss them and that we wish summer was just a few weeks longer, too. Then we will wave goodbye, drive away slowly and crank up George Michael’s Freedom!