I know summer isn’t officially over for another month, but with my son back in school, I feel like it is. This has been the longest, cruelest summer I can remember, thanks to that horrible heatwave we had. Being cooped up indoors with a cranky pre-pubescent because it’s just too hot, and the air quality is too bad, to go outside? Man, that’s not my idea of a vacation. So, having just dropped the Big-Eyed Boy off for his first day of junior high (!), that “vacation” is officially over.
All around me, there are signs that I’m not the only one who views the first day of school as the true end of summer, despite those who claim that Labor Day really is. All of the mommies were grinning ear-to-ear as we took turns pulling up at the school doors so our kids could hurriedly get out before we peeled away (well, as fast as one can “peel” at 5 mph.) Throughout my neighborhood, homeowners have put their pool covers on, and the Stepford Wife-types have switched their front door wreaths from bright-colored florals to rings of plastic autumn leaves. I even saw one of the early morning joggers wearing a hoodie today, something that was unthinkable a few days ago.
But here’s the thing about motherhood: I’ve spent the majority of the past three months counting the days until today, mentally planning all of the projects I’d finally have time for once school started again, and reminding myself that, come August 17, I’d have time for things like long showers, nail and doctor appointments, and a chance drink my coffee before it got cold.
So what’s happened? After the school run, I pulled into the garage and came into a house that seemed somehow too quiet. That list of things I wanted to do has totally fled my head, and I forgot about my cup of coffee until it was cold, anyway. Instead, I’ve puttered around, putting things away and half-listening for my son’s steps thundering on the stairs, for his voice calling out to ask me what’s for breakfast. Here’s this day I’ve so looked forward to throughout this horrible summer. Now that it’s here, I miss the little guy poignantly. But that’s okay, there are only 122 days until Christmas Break when, no doubt, I’ll counting down days until school starts again.