Back to school is the most glorious time of year. The end.
Just kidding! It isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of an entire school year, of magic.
I used to cry when my kids left to go back to school on the first day in the fall. I spent the whole first day back wandering around my house, tearfully picking tiny t-shirts and toys off the floor, heartbroken without my little noisy companions. Wallowing in the misery of . . . well, to be honest, I can’t remember what I was sad about anymore.
The last time I cried when my kids went back to school was on my son’s first day of Kindergarten. He seemed too little to go sit on the rug for story time, and I was worried about how he’d cope away from me all day. Who would know how to meet his precious and very specific child baby needs? No one! No one, but me. It was a hard day, walking away backwards from the Kindergarten classroom, taking pictures and sobbing the whole way.
Things have changed.
Now I don’t drive, walk, or bike them to school on the first day. We still have a special family breakfast, like we’ve always done. My husband still takes the morning off work so we can ship them out the door together. I still take back to school pictures on the front porch, I’m not a MONSTER, but things are different when they leave the house.
I do a happy dance in the kitchen and roll around in the quiet that is my house. I wander from empty room to empty room, hard pressed to believe my glorious luck of having an entire day without children. It’s sacred, this kind of quiet. And it’s something so precious, so golden, so rarely experienced, that I can’t help but wonder in its happiness.
Don’t get me wrong. When these yahoos come home from school in the afternoon, I’m excited to see them. I want to hear all about their days, and the injustice of short recess and terrible cafeteria food and mean teachers. I’m happy to sign the one million permission slips and sort through the mountains of paperwork and emotional drama from the day. But only because I’ve had an empty, clean house and sane thoughts in my head for SEVEN consecutive hours.
Glory be, back to school!