Do I Miss Those Back to School Days? Yes and No
I have been an empty nester for quite a while now, and I happened by a Target this past week. School begins in Houston today. The store was just hopping with activity as young families prepared for the start of school – buying all kinds of necessities. You could see by the looks on their various faces the anticipation of a new school year was a time of excitement. I almost have forgotten that feeling.
The beginning of school left me with mixed emotions each year. It meant the days of lazily sleeping in and forgetting an alarm clock completely would be coming to an end, but it also meant that entertaining kids all day long and keeping the refrigerator stocked was also coming to a close.
It meant that carpooling would start again. Packing lunches would begin again, making sure there was an equal amount of healthy and fun choices of food to eat. It meant that I would live my life dictated by my kids’ schedules: school, extra-curricular, and even social. The afternoon pickup started a hectic pace of getting this one there, the other here, and juggling pickup times again when they were finished. Carpooling to dance lessons, Little League. Soccer, gymnastics, get togethers at friends, just to name a few. A slave to my car, there were always other kids involved, and our little schedule of pickups and deliveries were carefully choreographed.
It meant that homework nagging would begin too. Bedtime enforcement would reign again. Forcefully waking up sleepy kids who liked to torture mom with dawdling. And have I mentioned carpooling?
And so we all said goodbye to that leisurely pace of a long stretch of summer.
No doubt about it – school days and the school year was a hectic time while my kids were growing up. But we would get into a rhythm and it would all seem natural until we all burnt out on it right about in May when summer fever set in and school would be out soon.
I guess as I watched young families prepare for the start of the school year, that is what I started thinking about. What I decided I missed most was the rhythm and cycle of life each year as we anticipated the new school year, tired of the routine of it, and then spent a leisurely summer.
It’s hard to go from a hands-on, uber involved mom to nothingness as we inevitably become empty nesters. Yet, we all adjust and relish the free time – and time to develop our own interests rather than having schedules dictated by our children’s interests.
Besides, my own school year is about to begin as I return as a student and adapt to concepts such as homework, studying, research and projects. Yeah, I am developing my own interests alright!