Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School

It’s August, and it’s hot in Texas. Summer break is almost over. My children are grown, but I remember when they spent their summers indulging in a life of leisure while I was at work. They stayed up late and slept late. They snacked all day and weren’t hungry for dinner with the family. They expected to be shuttled to friend’s houses, movies, malls, and the like the minute I walked in the door. As the summer would come to a close, I would always think, “I can’t wait for school to start.”
I remember one year in particular when the calendar for the coming year was filled with activities for three teenagers (none yet able to drive). Two weeks before school started we went shopping for school clothes, shoes, athletic items, backpacks, and supplies. My younger son played football and soccer with daily practice and a game every week and weekend. My older son was involved in Taekwondo three times a week, tournaments, and computer classes every afternoon. My daughter was part of the high school drill team with daily practice, Friday night games, activities on the weekend, and out of town competitions. Everything was lined out nicely on the calendar. They would hardly ever be home to mess up the house and complain.
There were bus schedules to review, car pools to coordinate, and rides to barter. It would prove to be a busy year that needing a lot of planning, but that was a welcome challenge after the laziness of summer.
They would also have homework, driver’s ed, school projects, parties, dances, part-time jobs, church activities, etc. My coordination skills would be tested and my patience taxed as I would become a passenger in my own car with two teenagers learning to drive. I looked forward to growing closer to each of my children individually by shuttling them around, but family time together would be at a premium.
 The lazy days of summer would soon be gone. I wouldn’t miss those lazy days. Summertime. The kids were always glad to see me when I got home if for no other reason than to tell on each other. They slept late, but they actually got to sleep. They snacked during the day, but I filled the house with healthy snacks. They wanted to be shuttled around, but I had the option to say NO because it wasn’t a required function. I could actually sleep later than 5:00 am on Saturdays because there were no soccer games, taekwondo meets, or drill team classes. There were fewer doctor visits for sprained ankles, busted elbows, and broken bones due to limited sports activities. We could go on vacation. The laziness of summer was less structured. With just two weeks left until school started and the calendar full, and after looking forward to the beginning of another school year, I soon found myself thinking, “I can’t wait for school to be out!”
How about you? Are you ready for school to start?

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