School year: Day 1

Today is Day 1 of the 2015 school year.

There are a gazillion posts on Facebook – beautiful first day of school pictures, moms who can’t believe their kids are as grown up as they are, time-passes-in-the-blink-of-an-eye posts.  All so very true.

I sent my own off this morning with big hugs and wishes for a wonderful first day.  I watched them head for BrightSide’s car, so tall and confident, and I had that moment of disbelief, too.  T-man is beginning his last year in elementary school, and Bear will be right behind him.  Next year I’ll have a middle schooler, for heaven’s sake.

What the what.

But I didn’t get bogged down in the moment because I know how this gig works.  They head off for a new year then come home in the afternoon all revved up from a fabulous day, raving about their new teacher and classmates and awesome things that happened at school.  It would all be good.

Our summer had felt like one furious sprint through a steam room.  Traveling, camps, (surprisingly little) pool time, my sometimes fruitless attempts at doing something academic…frankly, I’d worn myself completely out.  If I were a t-bone I’d be beyond well-done; I’d be “we can’t possibly serve that, just give it to the dog” done.  So this was my Day 1.

Hugs, kisses, love love love, have a fabulous day at school, close door.  I then turned around to stare in awe at my silent house.  Not just quiet, mind you.  Silent.  It was glorious.

And the angels sang

And the choir of angels sang…

I laid down with Phoebe for an early morning nap.  Yes, it was sleeping immediately after they left the house, but it qualifies as a nap because I didn’t actually go back to bed (we stretched out on the couch).  A technicality, I know, but whatever.  This summer has made me Beyond Tired.  Which made this Day 1 BT, and that means anything goes.

After grabbing a few more hours of sleep I woke to realize I’d reclaimed my morning.  That beautiful time of day when I can make a cup of coffee, a real breakfast (hello bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich), and turn on one of my shows without first determining the likelihood of sex, violence, or a medical procedure appearing on the screen.  It was just me and my dogs enjoying some Private Practice.  (A fantastic show with excellent medical story lines.  And Taye Diggs.  Can I get an amen, ladies?)

Then I wrote not one but two blog posts without getting interrupted every 14 minutes by a small person with a question…can I have a snack?  Can I play at so-and-so’s house?  What time do I need to be home?  Have you seen my iPod?  Can I have an Icee pop?  Can I drive the go-cart? Oddly enough, it’s remarkably difficult to maintain my train of thought in the midst of that onslaught.

I showered without a single knock on my door.  I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to spend even ten short minutes out of sight without someone hunting me down for some problem or another.  I snuggled some more with Phoebe (that doggie’s in heaven) and even colored some in my Mandala art book.  All peaceful, pleasant activities that I enjoyed.  Without interruption.  Ahhh…

Even the dogs cooperated – Gracie went the entire day without causing a smidge of trouble.  Of course, I think they’re just as exhausted from the summer’s pace as I am.  They slept hard until about 1:00pm today and, if history repeats itself, they’ll probably do the same for about a week before really bouncing back.

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Gracie was so far into dreamland that her eyes had actually rolled back in her head.

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The couch. The floor. The couch again. Phoebe slept and slept and slept some more.

Back-to-School comes at exactly the right time for all of us.  The kids have just reached to the point where even a slightly off-kilter look starts World War III.  Gracie has hit fever pitch in scampiness, and we’re all sick of dealing with it so it’s far more obnoxious than cute.  And I’m just…done.

I’m done with managing travel prep and camps.  I’m done coordinating schedules for at-home, away-from-home, or bouncing-in-and-out-of-home.  I’m done with mediating a dozen mini-conflicts a day and coming up with appropriate consequences.  And I’m definitely done with being on-call for every blessed thing 24 hours a day.

This is a strangely splintered existence right now.  In the summertime it’s kids, kids, and more kids.  But the school year begins, and I feel like I regain some semblance of an adult life. Suddenly there are entire pockets of time when I’m accountable only to myself, and that’s a glorious feeling.

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