It is September 4, and my children are still not back in school. One will go for a half day “transition” day this Friday, since he is entering a new school, but the other one doesn’t start until Monday ,and Little Lady doesn’t start until the 11th.
I don’t know what’s worse, one more week of fighting and having to take kids with me everywhere I go, or encountering parents whose children have already
A. gone back to school and feel so sad
B. gone back to school and are so happy
C. gone off to college and feel so sad.
I’m sorry, but I can’t relate to any of these people.
Here’s why. I won’t feel sad. I am jealous. And, you don’t remember so please stop making me feel guilty for acting impatiently with my children.
The other day, after wolfing down dinner, dropping my oldest at soccer practice, and then, taking my two younger ones, who are always a bad combination, to Wegmans, I encountered one of these empty nesters in the supermarket parking lot. I, was in a rush. I had to get groceries in the refrigerator and be back at the field to pick First Son up on time, lest he be scarred for life.
After a particularly annoying shopping trip, where one child would not stop walking in front of the cart, one would not stay in the cart, and both would not stop fighting, I had reached the end of my rope. Second Son, would not get in his seat, instead, preferring to tease the hell out of his sister, who would also not get in her seat, as I loaded groceries into the trunk.
This is what I sounded like. Cue angry voice, “Get in your seat! Get in your seat! Did you hear me? Get in your seat! Get in your seat, NOW!”
This is what was going at the exact moment when a father walked past me, paused and said, “I just sent my two back to college. I was crying all day. It goes fast.”
So, I said to him, “Well, then this can be a reality check for you. Now you can stop crying.”
Because I am sick of hearing this story, especially from a dad. No offense dads, but unless you were a stay at home dad, then I’m not even sure you have a right to relay that story to me. Because it’s not like we were peacefully sitting at a table when he looked over at my children and made said remark. No, it was in the middle of my chaos as if he thought he could impart some wisdom to me, i.e., one day, you’ll be sorry.
I’m sure I’ll be sad when my children go off to college, too, just as I am sad after each season, year, and holiday. Yes, it goes fast and no one wants to see their life passing in front of their lives, but it’s not all peaches and cream. The best saying I ever heard was the days are long but the years are short. Now there’s some truth without guilt. And what about absence makes the heart grow fonder? Give me a few hours reprieve and the fighting doesn’t beat me down quite as much, the yelling, almost welcome (I did say almost). But all these things for over sixty straight days, well that could break even the most enthusiastic of moms.
It’s wonderful for you if you cry every year at the thought of your children heading off to school, please tell me your secret, because your house must be a lot more peaceful and joyful than mine. But me, I side with the ones skipping down to the bus stop. I love my children. They love me. But I think we could all use a break and that break is supposed to come a few days after labor day.
Now let’s get on with it!