I have a confession: I’m happy my kids are back at school. When I dropped them off on the first day and saw them settle in with their teachers and classmates, I left the school with a big smile on my face.
Speaking to other parents in the schoolyard before the bell rang, I got the sense that some weren’t as elated. They will miss their kids, and the long leisurely days they spent on vacation. As they said goodbye this morning, it was with tears in their eyes.
Don’t get me wrong. I had a great summer with my boys. We spent a lot of time together and I got to witness them do some amazing things. We were clam digging and lobster trapping in PEI. In Muskoka, I watched them water ski and kayak for the first time. I loved roasting marshmallows with them over an open fire. I loved later bedtimes, the absence of rush hour and hectic after-school activities, and even dirty feet running through the grass. It was really lovely few weeks.
But it’s time to get back to reality. I vowed at the beginning of the summer to get them to read every day, yet that plan quickly went out of the window. I don’t think they read a book all summer. I wanted them to write in a diary. That never happened either. Instead, they discovered a love for road trips and an obsession with video games. So by the time I sent them off today, I was pretty pleased. Their teachers are great, and by now, I’m craving the routine, the homework, back-to-school shopping, the field trips, and the start of a fresh new year.
So far, it’s going well. When I dropped them off on the first day they were champs. A little nervous, to be sure, but they were happy to see their friends and familiar faces. They even ate their entire lunch. When my six-year-old ended up lost and confused at lunch recess, his older brother was there to comfort and play with him. It made me proud.
By the end of the day, when I greeted my little guy at the door, he was suddenly too big for hugs and kisses. He pushed me away and told me I was embarrassing him. Bye bye summer loving. He didn’t seem too big for affection when we were on holiday. Maybe there is something about sending my kids back to school that is actually really sad.