|Picture by Holly Chaffin|
The kids in our school district returned to school today and I can't help thinking that can't be possible. But then I remember thinking that every single summer when my kids were growing up. Back then, summer truly was three months long, yet I was never ready for school to start. Unlike other mothers I know who cannot wait for the school year to begin, I always was filled with regret of all the things we didn't do.
And here I am again, with grandchildren returning to school and I'm regretting missing out on some of the activities I'd planned back in June. Since I don't have kids or their toys or their laundry underfoot, I guess it's easy for me to say that I'm sad the school year has begun. Whatever happened to waiting until after Labor Day and letting kids be kids, not students, for a couple extra weeks?
Ahh well, it's that old adage that the only thing constant is change. For any of you grandparents out there, you know what I'm talking about. Things sure are different these days. Gone are the days of kids meeting up for a ball game or playing tag around the neighborhood. Now it seems the only thing that gets them outdoors with others is the pursuit of pretend characters they can only see through their smartphones. And why exactly do so many young kids even have smartphones?! I guess my age is showing.
To all you moms who are celebrating the early start of the school year, enjoy your alone time. I know it's important. And to the others who feel a bit like I feel, I understand. The sound of the school bus pulling away with your precious cargo inside just might elicit a tear or two. That's okay. The process of letting go has begun. Hugs to you.
So... which side of the fence are you on? Champagne or hankies? I'd love to hear how you're feeling in the comments below.