“You Will Miss It”: The Back-to-School Blues

            With my younger son starting preschool today and my older son in his second week of first grade, I now have three mornings a week all to myself! Celebration time, right?

            You know, my first grader was so certain he didn’t want to go back to school. (Frankly, I blame this feeling on reading too much Calvin & Hobbes over the summer. That Calvin is a little punk.) But after the first day of school, he was beyond excited for the rest of the school year. A teacher he likes, friends in his class, and four square at recess! What more could a 6-year-old want?

            I was the opposite. As we got closer to the start of school, I started looking forward to have some peace and quiet, getting some more work done and not having to referee the Matchbox car play. Summer was fantastic and we all loved getting to sleep in later and having lots of free time to go to museums or parks, but man, did my house get trashed every single day. The couch cushions assumed a permanent fort shape. And Mom got a little, OK, a lot, worn out.

            And then all of a sudden it was time for my older son to go back to school. And they don’t just ease you in, you know. Boom! We went from being together all day long to his being at school all day long. Five days a week! The house was so quiet. His brother and I didn’t know what to do with ourselves. He didn’t quite know how to play without anyone disputing his ownership of all the trains and cars.

            Instead, he just put his backpack on every morning, just like his brother, and begged me to please take him to school too.

            So today I did. And now it’s just me. And it’s even more quiet. And I can get work done.

            And boy, do I miss both of those boys. I even miss the forts a little bit.

            You hear it all the time from older moms, including strangers who pass me on the street.  “Enjoy this time! You will miss it!”

            Yes, I would think, as I restrained my barking dog, yelled frantically at my younger son to stop at the driveway and tried to extricate my older son from a neighbor’s swing so we could get home before dinner burned, wishing all the while that I had found the time to take a shower earlier that day. Sure I will.

            And here I am, missing it already.

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