A New School Year

A New School Year

The house feels empty, sounds cavernous.

I kinda like it—and I don’t. All at once.

We went to Open House this past Thursday to drop off large bags full of school supplies and meet the teachers. I didn’t even sweat or fret over choosing what to wear. We lined all the boys’ friends in front of the school sign and snapped pictures. We swaggered down the hall like the parents of fifth and third graders.

This is old hat.

On Sunday night, we laid out clothes. We set alarms. We went over morning protocol.

Yesterday morning, BigBrother came out already dressed and ready to go before his alarm even went off, while I attempted to enjoy my first cup of coffee. In peace. LittleBrother launched out of his room at the sound of his alarm. How long before we all lounge around in bed too long and they miss the bus?

A new routine will fall upon us here in the next week or so. I already miss our summer. Miss sleeping in because that’s something both boys now seem capable of doing; it’s new, and it felt glorious. Miss lazy afternoons with no homework, no shuttling back and forth, no real worries. Miss the fact that they loaded the dishwasher after lunch all summer and now I have to do it. Ugh.

I like having my boys at home. Yes, they argued some this summer, but maybe less than last summer. Yes, they got bored and pestered us some this summer, but maybe less than last summer. They traveled. We traveled. We did what we wanted, not at the mercy of the school calendar.

The boys, both excited about returning to school, cursed the return to “no more freedom days.” And that’s the sting, really. We lose the freedom to do what we want, when we want.

They enjoy school, and I like their teachers. But, oh, I miss them, miss the freedom summer brings.

As a new school year begins, I hope these two will learn many new things, will find pride in their work, and most of all, will act with kindness toward their fellow students and with respect toward their teachers. Another summer will roll around. Until then, we’ll do the work set before us.

But I had a second cup of coffee this morning; new routines feel tiring.

A New School Year


The Color Run - Happiest 5k Run

Parenting Remains Gross but Hilarious. Mostly.

Parenting Remains Gross

I share this story not to remind myself someday of the pile of puke I faced at one o’clock in the morning on a stormy in-between-Monday-and-Tuesday. I won’t forget that easily.

No, I share to remember how I came to know about said pile of puke. Because who knew that learning your oldest son vomited on the floor in the middle of the night could cause you to laugh just as hard as you gagged while cleaning. Who. Knew?

I heard the rain first. The rain started just as I slipped into bed at the totally respectable #adulting time of 11:30. Always a good patient, I took my sleep medication and waited for the Sandman to come. But then, not even an hour and a half later, I heard the rain pouring loudly.

I don’t normally wake up an hour and a half after taking my sleep medication. It’s hard to wake up eight hours after taking my meds, let alone so quickly. I figured I must have just consciously missed some thunder and closed my eyes.

Only to have hot breath on my face in the next second.


LittleBrother stood THISCLOSE to my face. The sound of his door opening must have been what woke me up. I opened my eyes, the house still dark.

“Yes, Booey?”

“I need to tell you something.”

It’s one o’clock in the morning. What could this kid need to tell me right this very second?

“What is it?”

“Well, you see. It’s about my brother. He did something.” A lengthy pause ensued. “About a game. He did something with a game.”

Child, are you freaking kidding me? You woke me up, disturbed my already hard-to-get sleep, to tell me about something your older brother did with a game earlier in the day? Deep breath. Don’t lose your cool. It’s the middle of the night.

I pulled him in close.

“Buddy, you’re just talking gibberish. Go back to bed. You’re asleep.”

I finished the hug, pushed him away, and closed my eyes again.

Then I heard the light flick on in the boys’ bathroom. Then some spitting.

You know the spitting I mean. It’s never good to hear spitting at a toilet in the middle of the night.

“What’s going on,” I half-hollered, half-mumbled from my bed.

“I’m just cleaning myself up,” BigBrother half-hollered, half-mumbled back.


“From what?”

“I threw up.”

I tossed back the covers, walked into the bathroom, and looked into the toilet.

No. Vomit.

“Bud, where did you throw up?”

“On the floor where I was sleeping in my brother’s room.”

I walked into the room, the smell overwhelming me before I even got there, to find LittleBrother back asleep in his bed; he had to step over the giant pile of puke to get back into bed.

I sighed.

I instructed BigBrother to brush his teeth and go to his own bed after making sure he felt okay and didn’t have a fever. I woke LittleBrother and send him to my bed. I took the dog’s towels and scooped puke. For a second, I thought I might rinse the puke out of the towels, but decided they belonged in the trash.

Then I Googled how to use our Little Green Clean Machine. The site I landed on involved lots of pop-ups which involved lots of cussing by me. I cleaned up the stain on the not-all-that-dark carpet. I put Purify in the diffuser. I took the puke towels, a pillow caught in the fray, and the rest of the trash out to the curb in the pouring rain. I washed my hands, changed my pajamas, and climbed into my bed.

Which was approximately eleven billion degrees because prior to this sleep-walking-and-talking event, I told LittleBrother that the only thing he did in his sleep was sweat.

He’s now really excited that he not only talks in his sleep like his dad and brother but that he walks, too.

I slept on the couch. Parenting, man.