Upon waking up Saturday mornings, DH likes to announce that the week-end, “is over”. I used to think that this was a silly thing to say. It’s Saturday morning! The sun is out! The birds and singing and we have the whole day in front of us.
Then we had children.
Saturday and Sunday became bookends between which we crammed birthday parties, trips to the zoo/museum/the grocery store, family time, various sporting lessons, and household clean-up. By the time we actually heard the birds singing, it was because it was Monday morning.
As an married adult with children, I see that an entire summer is whipping by at a break-neck pace. Just like how Christmas decorations start rolling out around Columbus Day (second Monday in October, people), the back-to-school paraphernalia appears sooner and sooner. It’s the end of July, but I’m pretty certain that July 5th saw the red,white and blue replaced with school bus yellow and composition notebook black and white.
I walked into my neighbor-hood Target and was assaulted by the Back-to-School savings I could take advantage of. The savings were so great, the deals so plentiful, that I actually forgot what I had gone in there for in the first place. Suffice it to say, the only thing that got saved was the economy due to the generous boost from the Dixon family.
Growing up, I looked forward to back-to-school shopping like it was an early Christmas. I roamed the aisles of Drug Fair (what you non-Jersey natives would call CVS) and loaded up. New Trapper Keeper! Lisa Frank notebooks! Pencils! Sailor Moon pencil case with the hidden compartment for me play with instead of paying attention in math class! My mom would take me to the Bridgewater Mall (sweet!) for new back-school-clothes. . .well, sort of. We had uniforms in high school, so new clothes meant choosing between new navy tights or new navy knee socks. Decisions, decisions.
After bowing out of school last October, I thought the giddiness of back-to-school preparation was behind me. Then I realized, Morgan is on the cusp of her entrance into the official school system: KINDERGARTEN.
How did we get here?
And kindergarten now, is way different from when I was in kindergarten.
First of all, there’s a school supply list. There’s stuff, beyond a pack of pencils and a bookbag, that we have to get for the classroom. Like baby-wipes and band-aids. Like multiple packets of crayons and markers. I had heard the school budgets had been cut, but wow.
How about this? Gone are the days of AM and PM classes. Kindergarten is all day — 9 to 3! Those are banker’s hours! What am I going to do with myself while Morgan tells all of our family business to her teachers and peers (you know she will; volunteering our personal information is her #1 hobby)?
And homework! I hear there’s homework in kindergarten. Who knows what kind of dittos (do they still even have those?) and worksheets she’ll be bringing home. I’m about to order up some “Math Made EZ 4 U” off of Amazon because I am russssss-teeee.
My parents had given me this book when I started school called “School Days.” It’s a little scrapbook that you fill out at the beginning and end of every school year with stuff like the name of your school, your photo, names of your teachers and friends, what you want to be when you grow up, and so forth. Mine is busting apart at the seams. There are little pockets to stick in momentos for each grade and I’ve got Valentines, notes I passed, report cards, all of that junk. I found the 2010 version for Morgan and I wonder how hers will compare to my own over the years.
It’s weird, turning the corner from your childhood/ adolescent self and walking down that adult/parent road. I can already see the first day of school coming: Morgan will slip into the clothes she’s picked out the night before. She’ll slide into her slightly too-big-backpack. We’ll take her picture on the front steps, maybe she’ll even let Coever stand next to her for a frame or two. We’ll walk down to the school and guess what adventures lay ahead. I’ll take her hand from mine to put it into the hand of her teacher, a woman I will eyeball until she understands that I am entrusting her with one of my two greatest treasures. She should conduct herself accordingly.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s the last week of July; there’s plenty of summer left! There are still trips to the beach, to Busch Gardens, to visit the grands. We’ve got playdates to fill up our mornings, arts & craps ::shudder:: to fill up the afternoons, and trips to the ice cream parlor for our evenings.
Back-to-school can wait. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we are just getting started.