Tag Archives: last day of school blues

1st day of summer: the good, the bad and the unexpected

My boys  (ages 7, 10 and 13)  had their last day of school yesterday. The end of the year snuck up on me while I was busy with work projects so I spent the morning paying library fines for lost books, and buying and delivering teacher gifts  (nothing like the last-minute!)  Then the kids came home, giddy as can be.

Aden hoolahoop summer starts

The younger two will start various camps next week and I’m trying to figure out what to do with my teenager.  But day-one of summer vacation was about just chillin’.

Some early observations:

The good:   I didn’t have to pack three lunches this morning. No arguing about food and rushing around like a lunatic. No extra Tupperware clogging up the dishwasher.

The not so good:  I still had to make lunch! In fact, now the kids have friends over and I have to make lunch for more kids and actually watch them not eat what I prepare. At least at school, I’m blissfully unaware of how much they waste.

Bus stop kids, last day of school

Bus stop kids, last day of school

The good:  No more rushing to make the school bus in the morning and afternoon.

The not so good:   I’ll miss my bus stop pals. Where will I get my latest crime reports and funny kid stories? I looked forward to that adult conversation and camaraderie twice a day.

The good:  The kids slept late and entertained themselves this morning, just like a weekend. I got to read, clean up, and take a run in peace.

The not so good:  I can see already that the Xbox and I are going to have a real problem this summer. He’s just too tempting and sucks all the life and time out of my eager children.

The good:  We have no routine, which feels freeing and fun. It’s all possibilities!

The not so good:  We have no routine! It’s up to me to find ways to engage these people in activities that hopefully don’t involve a screen.  Everyone’s going to bed at crazy hours. “Who cares how late we stay up, mom? It’s summer!”

Summer fun

The good: I loved cuddling with Eli in bed this morning and planning the day together. I won’t eat as many meals alone and I have buddies on my errands.

The not so good:   They’re all in my bidness.  It’s difficult to get work done. During the school year they do their thing and I do mine, and usually they don’t give a hoot about where I am in the hours they don’t see me.  Now they’re complaining about everything we have to get done and want a say in the plan.

The unexpected:  On my run this morning I heard a sad Sheryl Crow song and got choked up. As I held back tears, I realized that I had been stifling them since yesterday.

Summer is my favorite time of year. I love being with my kids more– despite my facetious complaining– and enjoying free, unstructured time.  But the beginning of summer, also means the end of another school year.  Jacob only has one more year of middle school , Aden is almost done with grammar school, and Eli will never be in first grade again.

Summer starts

All three boys refused to get sentimental about leaving their teachers and classmates, so maybe I was feeling it for them. Or maybe I just hate how little control I have over time.

Instead of rejoicing the beginning of summer, I’ve been a bit mellow. I guess all I can do is try to appreciate the good right now.  I know I’ll look back and be glad I did.

Last Day of School Blues

Today’s the last day of school for my kids. As they bust down the double doors  with glee, I’m feeling wistful that another school year is done.

This morning I shuttled between schools bearing teacher gifts and receiving report cards, feeling sad and anxious. I always get this way in June. Change is difficult and moving on means leaving people and places behind.

Two years ago I wrote a column about it for maplewoodpatch.com and although my kids are older now, the sentiment remains the same.  You can read it here.

The good news is although he’s headed for 4th grade next year, Aden still holds my hand once in a while and we read together most nights. Eli finished kindergarten today and is not looking back.  I’m trying not to focus on the fact that I’ll never have a child in kindergarten again, and instead take pride in all they’ve accomplished.

Maybe today when the last one gets home and dumps his filthy knapsack on my kitchen floor, I won’t think about them growing up too fast. Instead I’ll focus on not having to get up early and pack lunch tomorrow, or the next day after that. I’ll smile about not having to prod them to do homework or go to sleep early. I’ll revel in the next few days when we have no plans and can just hang around.

When you  look at the old column, notice the final, touching comment at the end from a mother who’s seen her share of last days.  It reminded me that the age of your kids doesn’t matter as long as you still feel close to them. And hopefully, they’ll continue to make you proud.