Back to School & Such Tragedies, Holidays & All Things Chaotic

Why Back to School is Better than Christmas

This day has finally arrived. I mean, I knew it was coming. Like, in my head, I knew it. I mean, it just made sense, right? It comes eventually, right?

I just didn’t believe it. I couldn’t. The possibility of all three of my kids leaving the house for 6 whole hours…I just couldn’t imagine. Yes, I know it comes every year. This is nothing new. But I’m always in a state of disbelief. I start to glance at the calendar sometime in mid-August. I’m counting the days. My kids are going back to school. This is like Christmas, only better!

I know – you’re thinking I’m awful. Well, let me rephrase…if you don’t have kids, you’re thinking I’m awful. If you do have kids, you might be raising your hot cup of coffee in celebration, as I am right now.

It’s been a long summer. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of fun. Days by the pool, at the beach, sleepovers, smores & campfires, trips to parks, and all things fun. And let us not forget the never-ending desire for, and fulfillment of desire for ice cream.

Lots of good times had by all.

But today is the day I get my house back. I get my quiet back. And yes, I get my sanity back.  Because let’s face it, having three kids 9, 12, and 14 is challenging enough, but throw in “stop hitting me” and “I’m bored” — like, a thousand times before 10 a.m., and yah, you start to glance at the calendar and wonder just how long you can manage until the crazy comes out and you lose your shit.

Like the night before Christmas, I was giddy with anticipation. I couldn’t sleep. I kept waking up…”Is it morning?! Is it morning?” No, just midnight. Then I woke up again at 4 a.m., 5:30 a.m. and suddenly, it came. Just like Christmas, it came! It was morning. It was the first day of school! I made it! I survived! And more importantly, the kids survived!

We were all up and downstairs by 6:15 a.m. And it was breakfast and backpacks, and pictures on the front steps, by the fireplace (where all memorable photos are taken), and lots of smiles…well, I was smiling anyway.

I wasn’t always like this. There was a time, when I’d go to the bus stop and cry. Like, deep heavy sobs…first day of kindergarten, first day of middle school…  But then, the crying stopped, and it was replaced with high-fives to the other parents, as the bus drove away. Perhaps a few YEEEEEHAAAAWWWWs thrown in for good measure.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss them the minute they drive off. I do. But I’ve come to appreciate the time apart. Having some alone time helps me recharge. Having some alone time, helps me to stay centered & balanced. I shift my entire summer work schedule to be home with them, so come September, I’m not only ready to get back to my routine, they too are looking forward to getting back to their own routine.

And now the back to school shopping is done. The supply list has been checked twice. The backpacks are hung by the front door with care…and it’s back to the craziness of open houses, endless paperwork and forms to fill out, lunches to make, etc.

Okay, so maybe back to school isn’t better than Christmas. But to a mom of three pre-teen and teenage kids, it is a gift.

And in a few short hours, I’ll greet each of them at their respective bus stops, and most likely embarrass them with hugs and kisses, and tell them just how much I’ve missed them

…and I’ll deny I ever wrote this.




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