Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School, Ready or Not

Tomorrow is the day. After our lovely summer hiatus, it's back to school for three out of four kids. Mathilda goes back next week. I know many kids in other states have already started back to school, but here in Michigan we are lucky to have a state law dictating that public schools must start the school year after Labor Day. From what I understand, this is because the tourism industry was suffering when schools tried pushing up their school start dates to late August. Whatever the reason, I am glad because August is obviously still SUMMER!

I've read the experts' advice and I know that I should have been gradually waking my kids up earlier and earlier over the past few weeks, while simultaneously making bedtime a little earlier every few days. They should be back in a structured routine now, to prepare them for a new academic year. I know all this, and yet...I have ignored it all.

Last night all four kids stayed up late. Two of them crashed out on the couch, where they stayed all night. We are still in summer meal mode, which means punting for at least two out of three meals a day. This morning they slept in as late as their bodies allowed them, which was altogether not late enough for my liking. We're doing things the old fashioned way. Tomorrow will be a shock to the system, but within a few days they'll be back in the school groove.

I'm not interested in interfering with my precious summer by preparing for school. We have the whole school year to be all structured and regimented. Summer is the time when we enjoy a lack of routine, being a little lazy, staying up late, and eating breakfast at lunch time. I know everyone doesn't do it my way, but by May I am so DONE DONE DONE with the school gig, I need these months to breathe and re-charge my batteries. The last week or so the noise level in my house has been starting to frazzle me, and I'm realizing that, although I really hate to see the end of summer, I am ready for a quieter house for awhile. My kids have been getting a little antsy, and I know they don't want to admit it, but they're kind of ready too.

I'm not totally unprepared. We have school supplies and new clothes and shoes to accommodate summer growth spurts. Two out of four kids have had haircuts, which is not perfect but acceptable in my book. I still have to go grocery shopping, but hey tomorrow is a half day so no one needs to pack a lunch. I think I'll go to the grocery store while three of my kids are in school. Sounds nice, eh?

I have been getting caught up with laundry, and weeding out clothes like a mad woman. I am giddy at the thought of a Salvation Army drop off later today. I always see this time of year as a fresh start, and have all kinds of plans about what I am going to organize and accomplish while my kids are in school. Then reality sets in and I realize that 95% of my life is spent driving to and fro and doing school-related stuff. But I am forever an optimist, so I feel like this year I can do better!

Today we are going to a barbecue to spend time with family and go swimming on our last day of summer break. When we get home everyone will shower and bathe and get outfits laid out. Kids will be tucked in early, and I will set my alarm extra early so I can make a special first day of school breakfast.

I'll miss you, Summer. 'Til we meet again...

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