It is fall again and here in New York City, it has already gotten cooler and there is a crispness in the air. Children in my Brooklyn neighborhood have already had their first full week of school and new backpacks, fresh uniforms and shoes that have yet to be scuffed parade down the street every morning. This is a time when most parents rejoice. We can legally turn our children over to someone else for at least six hours a day. I should be happy, but instead I am stressed and a bit sad.
I LOVE summer. I love having the kids home and not having to go through the morning craziness of showers, lunches, breakfasts, permission slips and last minute assignments. Between the conferences, the fundraisers, the projects and the after-school activities, it is so overwhelming. For the past three months I have been able to worry about me every morning, and that's it. I could get up a little later. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a pot of tea. I had time to work out. I could deep condition my hair before I went off to work. I could even take a hot bath in the morning, in the middle of the week with a soak I actually had time to make myself. And, best of all, I could get those great sleepy hugs from everyone before I left the house. You know how your children look like such angels when they are sleeping?
Now, as early as 5:45 a.m. there is noise and yelling and demands and needs and wants and I just want to bury my head under the covers and wish there was a summer groundhog who would see his shadow on the beach and proclaim six more weeks of summer.
But alas, that is not the case, so I somehow find my way to the kitchen and prepare the morning coffee while my eyes are still closed because they do not actually open until I can smell caffeine in the air. I call out to my children and make sure they are awake and showering. Ennis usually needs just one call but Forrest is like me and sleeps like he is dead and I have to call him constantly, engage him in conversation and actually see his feet hit the floor and then talk to him again after he gets out of the shower because he is famous for getting back in bed. I pull together breakfast, make sure those who need it have lunch or money and ensure that all backpacks are actually on their backs as they exit. It is such a task.
Now Becca is in first grade. Real school. For the second time this past week her school bell rang and she was not in class. She was late. I thought the start time for her new school was the same as her old school: 8:30. The first day i got to school at 8:32 a.m. and was mortified to have to take Becca to the office for a late slip. The next day I took her to school again and proudly walked in at 8:10, thinking we were 20 minutes early. That is when I found out that the start time is 8 a.m., sharp. Once again, Becca and I made the walk of shame to the office for another late slip. The second one in three days. Becca smiled at me and said, "It's okay, Mommy. It's a new school. You hats to get used to it, just like me."
Yes, Becca, that is so true. And, I also have to let go of summer.