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.