Back to school blues? NOT!!!
This week thousands of parents will send their children off to school for the first time.
Many thousands more will pack them off for another year on their 13 or 14 year path to graduation.
It’s a groundhog life I have FINALLY awoken from.
This is the first time in almost two decades none of my five girls have to pull on a uniform, drag out a squashed hat or rinse out a lunchbox and I’ve realised my life is no longer defined by school terms.
I’ve watched on social media, friends spending the last days of summer holidays covering books and buying school shoes.
My feed is full of pictures of “the first day” or “the first day back again”.
I am going to miss it so, so, so much.
I think of the newbie school parents struggling with excitement and sadness as their baby embarks on a life without them.
I recall the relief other parents are experiencing as routine again settles over the family.
I remember and reflect on all those emotions as I write this at the beach. Not a roll of colourful, spirit-uplifting contact in sight.
But of course there is so much more school parents have to look forward to and that I will mourn the loss of.
Like saying these sentences every day for decades.
- How was school today?
- Take your lunchbox out of your bag.
- Why didn’t you eat your sandwich?
- Have you got homework?
- Have you done your homework?
- Can you hang your swimming towel out?
- Where are your goggles?
- What have you got on today?
- Do you have sport/music/drama today?
- Have you got your lunch?
- Where is your hat?
- Have you got your towel/togs/goggles/musical instrument?
- Have you got your sports uniform?
- Where are your shoes?
- Have you got your homework?
- Did I ask if you’ve got your lunch, your hat?
I will miss the non-stop verbal streaming of answers to the above questions from the kids when in primary school.
I will miss the one-word grunting answers to the above questions from them when they were teens.
I will lament the loss of my creative flair at conjuring exciting, interesting lunches or buying food that will appeal to a six year old and a teenager.
I will miss shopping for muesli bars.
Trips to lost property to try and locate some of the hats, lunchboxes, shoes, jumpers and goggles will be a distant, sad memory.
I will remember with affection the surprise of moulding sandwiches and bruised fruit left stewing over the weekend when the lost lunchbox is delivered to be refreshed for another week.
Searching for goggles every second day will be a joy I will only be able to recall with affection.
I will sadly never do homework puzzles or projects again.
I will not read those amazing assignments at eleven o’clock at night to ensure they are grammatically correct.
Weekends will be all the more lonely and unfulfilled with no school sport, excursions, or assignments.
The gap in my life of driving hours everyday will mean more time to try desperately to fill with other endeavours just as stimulating. Especially those 4am drops for rowing, how will I ever fill my time at that hour of the day?
But of course what I will miss the most is the incredible joy of paying school fees.
I will never again receive monthly, friendly emails, I mean invoices, reminding me of the wonderful education my children are enjoying.
Even at primary school when I didn’t pay fees, those lovely requests for contributions will never again appear in my inbox.
Uniforms, shoes, books, computers, sports fees, excursions, sports levies, music levies, goggles, tuck shop…………etc, etc, etc.
How on earth will I find things to spend my money on?
So as I pull my tongue from my cheek and look forward to sampling the next stage of my life I admit I am not going to miss it.
BUT to all you parents of school kids, good luck and enjoy, I really wouldn’t have missed it for quids.