Misfit Mom Alert: I Am NOT Looking Forward To School Starting
I am a “regular” mom. Like most other mothers, I do my best, second guess, worry, and occasionally want to pull my hair out, but it is at this time every year, that I realize I am a bit different in at least one regard.
Apparently, as a mother who is not counting down the days for another school year to begin and who is not ready for summer to end, I am as rare as a unicorn.
I know the fact that I only have one child and am a stay-at-home mom has a lot to do with that. I can imagine that if I worked full time outside the home and had two or more rugrats to manage summer activities, ferry to camps, break up sibling fights, and field “Mom, I’m BORED” complaints, I would probably be counting down the days until it was over too, but this time of year brings a deep melancholy for me. It is in the beginnings of the school years that I see my life flash before my eyes.
I was childless until I was 39. Life is one long, endless summer when you are childless. You can literally make yourself believe that you are twenty-eight years old for years. There is nothing in your life to remind you that this isn’t true, at least until you run into an old high school friend taking her kid on college tours, and then you go, “Oh shit, several years have apparently passed and I didn’t even know it!”
And you were blissful in your seeming immortality.
Then you have children. For me, the first five years were like summer. Every day was endless, sometimes boring, but rarely hectic, those days were languid like still ponds. Some days, my only goal was to have her pictures taken at J.C. Penney. Even when she began to spend a few hours each week at pre-school and kindergarten, there was no hurry. No worry. Time stood still.
Then, she started first grade.
She starts middle school in three weeks and I don’t know where the hell the years went.
Here is what happens when school starts: Homework, after-school activities, lunch-packing, tests, class parties, individual school pictures, birthday parties, Fall Festival, Homecoming, holiday breaks, class projects, field trips, book reports, more homework, class pictures, Spring pictures, Spring Break, incessant check writing for t-shirts and yearbooks, final tests, End-of-Year parties, final report cards, Summer Break!
Blink. Blink. Blink. REPEAT.
Blink. Blink. Blink. REPEAT.
And before you have turned around twice, your baby is off to college, then moving away, perhaps getting married, perhaps creating her own family, and your time is over.
The end of your run is staring you in the face; there is no denying it. It was always coming, but if not for the school years blazing by with lightning speed, you would have been able to grasp a moment in time to hold onto, to pretend like it would last forever.
But when school starts, there is no time to pretend. There is no time to breathe. It begins. It ends. Just. Like. That.
So, I dread the start of school. The start of school is inevitably the end of me. I prefer Summer when time moves like honey and even boredom is a sweet luxury.