School’s in Session

I have the feels.

All of them.

This time of year, they usually hit and hit hard because it’s back to school — the ultimate gut-punch reality check of how fast time flies.

Also, we live right near an elementary school, the same one where I walked all three of my kiddos. So you might think that’s why I’m being weepy because my kids are so grown up — college, community college and a high school junior (who starts TODAY). Truth is, I used to get the feels even back in kindergarten.

On that very, very epic first walk to school, No. 1 — wearing the foam visor that her teacher (who made a home visit!!!) helped her decorate paired with a blue polo shirt and a flouncy, too-big tiered pink skirt and sneakers — was accompanied by her dad because I feared my heart would float right out of my body with the nonstop tears — and not at all because I was embarrassed by some questionable wardrobe choices.

I still make them take first day of school pictures, with their grade Sharpied onto a piece of paper, just like I did for my parents. It’s tradition.

When they were little, I’ll admit that heading back to school was a relief (mostly to the bank account) after a summer of zigzagging to different camps. The kids could go back to a set routine of free school and a guaranteed six hours out of the house, and I got back some of my sanity.

They aged out of summer programs a long time ago. And while it’s not especially rewarding to have teenagers flopping around the house — they mostly shuffle back and forth between their rooms and the bathroom, with an occasional foray into the kitchen for food — they are physically onsite, and I take comfort in that.

After a strange, scary year of mostly online classes, I’m excited for in-person school again, even though it means more work for me. School means cracking the whip about getting to bed before 1 a.m. and being a back-up alarm clock when they sleep through the real one and juggling dental cleanings around class and basketball practice and volunteering at the snack bar during games and it’s a lot, but I’ll take it. I’ll take all of it, all the snack bar shifts in the entire world over the sad year when normal life was canceled. And I’ll take it because that clock never slows down and ticks so darn fast that I could swear kindergarten was only last year.

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