Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back To School Fever

I am officially ready for fall. I LOVE fall. The other day I was walking over to clean the park bathrooms and the air had a certain cold, crisp smell that reminded me of back to school excitement and trips to the pumpkin farm. I felt a brief moment of happiness. Moments of happiness have been few and far between lately. I strongly believe that happiness is a choice, but apparently lately I haven't had the will power to choose that particular mindset. I feel like this summer break has gone on forever (all 6 weeks of it- only 5 more to go! LOL)

I'm drawn to the bins of glue sticks and crayons lining the crowded aisles at Walmart. I keep fantasizing about dressing my kiddos up and taking their pictures as they trod off to their first day of school. Sounds like HEAVEN! Which is so funny. I was way more excited for summer break than they were back in June. I must have short term memory loss. How had I forgotten the way my crew has the ability to turn my house into a science lab? They don't handle boredom well and let's just say the ways they entertain themselves aren't always contructive. Basically, at this point in our life someone is always bored no matter how hard I try to keep them busy. My kids have such different personalities and interests that you really can't please everyone at the same time. I feel like that crazy tour guide with a nervous eye twitch that talks too fast and snaps at the tourists who innocently ask questions. Maybe I should move to France where it's socially acceptable to be snotty to people. Bonus- I wouldn't have to shave!
Anyway.... back from my mental vacation... I simply miss liking summer. I miss being young and carefree, not noticing how sticky popsicles and lemonade make kitchen floors, being able to eat cotton candy and snowcones without feeling guilty about calories.... ahhh- those were the days. Now, I need to invest in some ear plugs to soften the deafening whines and tattling and I desperately wish that tall grass and dandelions would become a hot new trend in lawn care.
I think my biggest motivator for my fall fantasies is this sneaking suspicion that once my kids are in school I'll have a "partner" in the form of the school system. Not to be one of those parents that expects the school to basically raise their kids, but this summer I've been dutifully encouraging reading and trying to sneak math games into our daily lives and well... I'm burnt out. If I never see another multiplication table that's fine by me. I feel so frumpy and boring.... dentist appointments, making sure people get enough veggies and dairy, the repetitive head counts to make sure I haven't lost anybody.... it gets to ya, you know? The other day it occured to me that in September they will have a whole staff of people who will be making sure they're safe and educated and it nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes. Hallelujah for school lunches! To think that I can send my kids off to school with a good breakfast in their bellies and not have to use my kitchen until after school! If my kitchen could smile I'm sure it would.

Maybe if I weren't such a spazz about parenting it would be different. I know there are mothers out there who don't have anxiety attacks about reading levels. Oh- to be one of them... When my kids were little (5, 3, 1, and newborn) I had this same feeling that I have now. Desperation. Panic. Exhaustion. I just thought it would go away. I spent that crazy toddler years part of my life telling my self "this too shall pass- this too shall pass" and honestly, it did. My kids don't lodge random objects up their noses anymore. It's been years since we've had to snake a toilet to retrieve legos and hot wheels cars. Heck, they can even help out around the house now. What am I whining about?
I hear you never stop worrying about your kids though. I suppose maybe my excitement for fall is just a way of breaking this enormous job up into manageable chunks. Come to think of it, taking parenting one season at a time is an improvement on my old one day at a time philosophy. I guess things are getting better! For now, I'm gonna keep reading the Sunday paper's back to school coupons for encouragement. A good price on erasers should buy me one of those brief moments of happiness.


  1. I should have known you had a blog! Love the thoughts there - I can definitely relate on several levels. Although, my kids aren't nearly as scientific as yours...any crazy potions lately?

  2. As mad mad housewife would say, you sprinted this summer and should have jogged. It's all about pacing!