Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School

"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers."
~Edgar W. Howe

Blake and Nick loaded up their brand spankin' new Quicksilver camouflage backpacks, picked out their own outfits and abandoned the vacation flipflops for their straight-from-the box athletic shoes as they ventured into the start of another school year.

Hard to believe, but Blake's in 6th grade now and Nicky's headed to 3rd. The boys were both in good spirits this morning with their backpacks stuffed full of required and "requested" supplies. Blake weighed his pack -- 14.5 pounds. Yikes!

It's supposed to be 107 degrees today. And Blake calls it "horrible timing" that the Olympics just started and he can't stay up late watching them. But the timing, I thought, was just about perfect.

With our trips to California and Minnesota, Blake's soccer camp and the kids' swimming lessons, our summer slipped away as fast as a glass of a tall lemonade in an Arizona back yard. We had a great time on our two trips. And we enjoyed the lazy days at home, sleeping in with no place to be and hanging out in the pool.

But the final week or so told me -- no, not told, but shouted down through me -- that the time was right. With the mixture of boredom, restlessness, and school-is-looming nervous energy ferociously whipping about, I was afraid the boys were going to kill each other. Whether it was fighting over what to watch on T.V. or "you're sitting too close to me," or calling each other mean or banned names, or putting gum on the seat so the other would sit in it (yes, and Nicky was the victim in this one), these two have been up to one form of mayhem or another for days now.

At this point in parenthood I've realized that there's nothing I love more than spending one-on-one time with my kids. It seems they're in their most angelic, pure, talkative form when they're alone with Mom. But it's playing the role of referee for two pairs of kids (especially the older two), that have me grateful school is here again.

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