A lot of you are watching your kids head off to school--in Wisconsin we've got a state law protecting the tourism business. No school can start until after Labor Day. Just as well, the weather in June is so dicey and September is one of the nicest months. This year we've seen 90 once or twice, though. Already the nights are cool and the bite of fall is in the air. I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer. Or my kids.
In this way I'm blessed. Misters T, B and G are fun people, loving and humorous, busy and creative. They don't fight much and prefer to play with each other than with anyone else. Our house has been a labyrinth of battle castles, forts, art projects and games set up and abandoned and reset. We're finally free of soccer, baseball and summer school so the entire day and night is open to whatever pleases us--these unstructured days please me.
Sure, they don't sleep much, but I prefer the lazy pace of summer mornings--no rushing to the school by 8:00, no interrupting Frank DeFord on Morning Edition. I like not shaking kids out of bed. Making meals and snacks constantly is a bit of a drag, but so is homework and paperwork that the school piles on us each week. I'd still have to feed the kids and pack lunches anyway.
The spontaneous games of Sequence, races in the pool, discoveries in the garden, and debates over which force of nature is strongest (and which Super Hero is toughest) trump the few hours of freedom & structure provided by public education.
Maybe it's partly because of how crappy last year went for T, or fear that we're making the wrong move by letting him go to 4th grade. Maybe it's the realization that childhood is so fleeting and these glory days are numbered. I'll have lots of time to read, blog, write, clean my house when all 3 are in school in a few years. The irony is when they're the least amount of work and the most fun, they leave for the day. I'd rather be rid of them from ages 0-5 instead of ages 5-18.
Grudgingly I'll take them to dentist and doctor appointments, buy them backpacks and sticks of glue. I won't do cartwheels across the field this year after depositing them for their first day of school. I'll wish we'd have slept more nights in the tent in our yard and stayed up late with the telescope. I'll yearn for more trips to the drive-in theater and bonfires and fireflies. I'll be the mournful mom watching the clock and wondering when they'll come back home.
Today I'll savor Team Testosterone while they play Crash Brothers and have Bunny Day. We'll eat popsicles and stay up too late. I'll ignore the chaos overtaking my house and quelch my tendency to clean first and ask questions later--there'll be time for that in a couple weeks.