First Day of School

Because I’m helpful like that, I spend the final week of summer vacation announcing each ‘last’ day as it arrives until finally, “This is the LAST SUNDAY of summer vacation!”  [said in a voice that sounds very, very similar to the Monster Truck Announcer mixed with the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge’s dead business partner.]

This is the LAST Sunday, SUuuunnnnDaaaAY of Summer VACAaaaaTIONNNNNN!!!

See?!  Helpful.  I’m a helper.  Doin’ some helping.  Helping those in the house taking a trip to the guillotine going back to school on Monday feel better about the death of their summer the start of an exciting new school year.  It in NO WAY gives ANYONE a sick feeling in their stomach. 

OK, I LIED!!!  I totally, TOTALLY!  LIED!!!  That whole “announcing” thing doesn’t make ANYONE feel better about ANYTHING!  It makes EVERYONE feel bad.  Me included.  The TRUTH is that I’M actually the one with the sick feeling in my stomach.  And since misery loves company, I try to pass that sick feeling on to others so I don’t suffer alone.  You’re welcome.

And why do I even HAVE this sick feeling??  I’M not the one going back to school, afterall. 

Maybe not, but I do vividly remember how really, really hard it was to be in 5th and 7th grades: the academics, the social difficulties, weird hair sprouting from weird places, suddenly smelly bits.  Ugh.  And that “smelly bits” comment made you think of an onion-y sub sandwich at the Italian deli too, didn’t it?  So now YOU also have a sick feeling in your stomach…and this sick feeling might, at this very minute, be moving rapidly into your throat.  FAIR WARNING:  if you start chumming in your mouth, we’re done here.  

I remember those grades in particular being awful.  Really, really awful.

So awful in fact that the last Sunday Sunday! of Summer Vacation resembles for me the eve before a battle.

I picture my little babies facing the new school year across an open field.  The new school year is lined up in regimented rows, wearing suits of armor.  Sissy and Sonny, barely visible waaaay across no-man’s land, have their faces painted blue and are wearing kilts.  Sissy’s got some cute braid thing going on in her hair and Sonny just lifted his kilt to show off his assets.  They are not armed with a single, solitary war cudgel; only dry erase markers and a box of colored pencils.  And their hope. 

Their hope that this school year will be the best one yet.  And that?  Right there??  That scrappy, rebel hope thing is the reason I would STILL want to know these two beautiful people even if I lived some other version of my life where I wasn’t lucky enough to be their mother.  That hope is a powerful thing.

Taught ‘em everything they know.  Thank you and good night. 

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