Today we were firmly reminded that (whispering) "the s-word"--you know, "school"--is lurking right around the corner, just waiting to pounce us right out of our ongoing...vacation vibe. What happened was, Derek had to drag his teenage butt out of bed, ahem..."early" (that is, 8:00 rather than the sluggish 9/9:30 wake up he's been enjoying for months) to attend his high school Orientation Program. After I dropped him off, it suddenly occurred to me that it's been an abnormally...lazy...Summer for us. (Well...except for boxing up everything in the old house...making all the arrangements for the relocation...moving ourselves and our possessions...unpacking and setting up the new residence...you know, "little stuff" like that.)
You see, Husband and I quickly got into the habit of letting the kids stay up late to watch TV with us. There was no run-around-like-crazy WestEnders family trip. I didn't send the boys to their usual 2 weeks of camp. Actually...it was pretty darned...relaxing. And all that comes to a screeching halt on Monday. (Which feels both weird and unsettling for me personally, since for the past 13 years I've started back to work the same day the kids mosey off to school...which won't be happening this time...but that's a whole 'nother wriggly can 'o worms for a later post...)
So it'll be a (probably jarring) return to structure and routine in a few days. No more slow mornings when you surface from sleep whenever you feel like it, stroll across the hall to chat with your brother, then play a few games on your phone or Kindle and check sports scores. So much for eating meals on a haphazard schedule. Farewell to lunches and snacks catered by Mom, featuring fresh fruits and veggies cut up every day to order. So long, leisurely lunches on the screened porch and morning baseball practice and midday bike rides to explore the neighborhood woods and creek. Ugh. Okay, this is officially starting to bum me out...and I won't even have unfamiliar schools, and seven classes, and homework assignments to deal with next week!
Today Derek returned from his crash course in Freshmen 101, having gained an Upperclass Mentor (or "Tiger Link", as they shall be known), met a few of the nearly 400 fellow 9th graders, obtained his schedule, located all of his classrooms, (in 3 different buildings...and a trailer!) and practiced finding them in order...and in a timely fashion. I'd say that's quite a day's worth of work! I suppose he's as prepared as possible for August 25th. However, he really only has pens, mechanical pencils, looseleaf paper and a spiffy new binder (cloth-covered, zip-close...awesomely-cool....yeah, I'm jealous...office superstores are like...Disneyland...to the uber-nerd...) to take with him, because unlike in years past, when we've received a detailed list of all the required items well ahead of time, high school apparently doesn't feel a need to specify what to bring...that is, until you arrive and hear it from each individual teacher.
Therefore I predict that our last few days of freedom will include lots of lounging, plenty of playing...and one more run to Target and Staples. Long live Summer!