For some of my friends--and their kids--the 2013/14 school year kicks into gear in just a few short hours. Let me just say right now with utmost sincerity: my condolences! (Ahem...also throw in an equal measure of "WHEW! Glad that's not us!") In my district, we will enjoy a brief...stay-of-execution--I mean "academia"--until the following Monday. While at this very moment the date still seems quite comfortably distant, I am flabbergasted to find it even that close. You see, this is the first Summer since the boys began their scholarly careers that I feel the weeks have rocketed by us at an unprecedented pace. From the final dismissal bell in mid-June, which teasingly promised a looooong calendar stretch of empty, free hours...to the wistful late-August countdown of a paltry handful of available unscheduled days...the time has seemingly evaporated right before our eyes, like a post-thunderstorm puddle in the steamy afternoon sun. Where did it go? I suppose there was the male posse's South Carolina trip...a camp session for the boys...guys' weekend in Pittsburgh...of course the California adventures...and poof! Here we are staring down a return to routine in seven short days.
Derek asked me thoughtfully the other day, "Mom, will you be glad when we go back to school...and leave you alone?" I laughed, but the true answer is "Yes...and no..." True, I do cherish my solo-time, as we all know. However...this is also the first Summer that I haven't felt worn out from refereeing brotherly squabbles for Ten. Endless. Weeks. I think this stems from a combination of two things: 1) they're getting along a bit better as they (dare I say it?) mature, and 2) they're also much more savvy about working things out without intervention from Mom...or at least separating themselves without complaining to (supremely unsympathetic about their trivial disagreements) me. So unlike in previous years, I'm not feeling like we're showing signs of being 100% fed up with each others' company. Also, I've honestly been appreciating the unstructured time--not being required to get ready and get the heck-out-of-the-house at a prescribed hour--as much as my sons have. It's been a welcome respite from the duties and responsibilities of the academic year...the daily preparation (aka: paperwork and packing) and the homework and the soccer practices and the other extra-curriculars. I've actually been able to...relax (gasp!) without the jammed agenda that defines all of our lives from September to June.
Alas, soon we will each return to our "jobs" and all the related activities thereof. For once, the thought makes me a little more...melancholy...than lighthearted. It was a wonderful Summer...and this time, I really wish there were more of it!