Herald-Whig

Back to School Blues

By Jen Reekie
Posted: Sep. 5, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Sep. 11, 2018 5:40 pm

Yesterday the chickens got loose, and as we were chasing them through our neighbor's yard, late to three different back to school orientations, my sweet neighbor asks how my day was going.

Did I mention she's hilarious? After asking about my plans for the day, I ask her how she was doing. She laughed and just said, "We can talk when the kids are back in school." I declared my love for her, then ran away.

Everyone that has asked if I was ready for the kids to go back to school has been met with an emphatic, "Yes! So much YES!" Not that there haven't been moments of greatness but this has been one of the longest summers ever! I know that sounds ungrateful, but the kids have had enough and their attitudes have reflected that. Although they may not be done with the summer weather or even ready for the schooling, they are ready for structure and done with each other. The jump-throughs I made for each of their first day each read "Happy first day of...." One of them was like, "Happy? Really?"

Well, I guess that's what I was thinking!

I'm happy for them to be back and happy for me to finally be able to get some things done. I mean maybe not today but in the next few weeks. It's hard to organize and clean around tiny people that wipe their hands on the floor, even the big ones. I see you!

Writing is another thing I really can't do with the kids under my feet, because I'd like to devote at least a solid hour to it and it feels like there's an emergency every 15 minutes or a question that needs my full attention like, "Where are the waffles?". Try to have a continuous train of thought while having to answer twenty different questions all revolving around waffles.

So now they're all back, and it's time to catch up on my correspondence (especially with my neighbor), my to-do lists and do what I do. Who knows, maybe I'll solve all the problems of the universe and make enough money to send my kids to a summer camp that brainwashes kids into thinking their mothers are cool. Both seem equally likely.

I'll probably just catch up on the laundry.

While I've had to put up with a lot of attitude the last few weeks and listen to the stupidest fights of all time, I may have a touch of sleeping baby syndrome. You know when the kids were toddlers and you were convinced that they were sent to destroy your sanity and everything in their path, but then they would fall asleep and be the cutest things on earth? Ya, that.

The kids are all in school. Their stuff is strewn out all over the house. There's a plate that's been left out from breakfast with a half-eaten cinnamon roll. The house is absolutely quiet. Even the dog is passed out at my feet.

I've got an overwhelming list of things to do, but I have this weird feeling. I'm wondering how everyone is doing and if they are still as nervous as they were when I dropped them off this morning. I look at their obligatory first day photos and think, "Man, I'm too young to have kids this old! They were just hellion toddlers yesterday!" My oldest looks almost as tall as my mom. Then, the feelings hit me.

NO! We are not doing this today! I'm not sad! They are only a few blocks away with their friends, and I'm free at last, free at last, God almighty I'm free at last! I will not be sad! I will shake off this feeling immediately. Bite your lip, and think about all the laundry and dirty underwear under their beds!

In truth, I'm not sad they are in school. I suppose I'm more nostalgic and know it's going fast. Today, for the first time in months, I just have time to hear myself think. I'm not sad, I'm happy. Happy in the best of ways. They are all growing up and that is a great gift and a wonderful thing to witness. Almost as good as watching sleeping babies.

Happy first days!