Some day, a school calendar will not rule my life. Some day. Except for a couple of years here and there, I have always been in school, teaching college, or helping kids through school. Summer doesn’t start on June 22nd. It starts the day school ends. When I was in grad school or teaching that meant summer started some time in May. Now, it’s the last week of June.
Summer will end late this year. The boys don’t start school until September 9th, because the public schools have to work around the unusually early Jewish holidays. Frankly, I’m exhausted. I had too many driving chores this summer. Too many different activities. Too much nagging. Jonah declared himself too old for the swim club, so it was harder to find activities that would keep them both busy and away from the computer.
I’m craving some alone time with the computer. I need to finish some articles and get organized. I’m sure I’ll miss the kids after a week or two, but right now, I need a break. I honestly haven’t had the time to read the paper in the morning. I’m in a suburban mom bubble and it’s freaking me out.
This week, I’m doing the typical week-before school errands — haircuts, new sneakers, eyeglass prescription adjustment, calculators, three-ring binder paper, colored pencils, folders for the file cabinet, agenda pads, and money in the lunch website. It’s a little more complicated this year, because both boys are starting at new schools. Jonah is going to high school, and Ian is going to a new elementary school.
Jonah and I have already been at the high school dozens of times this summer. He first tried out for the soccer team, but got skimmed out because of his skinny frame. The boy has grown three inches in three months and gained ten pounds, but he’s still a string bean. (Watching Jonah’s growth spurt ranks up there with one of coolest things about being a parent.) While still in the depths of despair about being cut from the soccer team, I threw him into the cross country team. He fought me on that decision for three days, but after one practice, he was hooked on running. Yay.
Last week, we printed out his high school schedule and tried to remember why he signed up for his electives. In New Jersey, all high school kids have to take a personal finance class. I have no problems with that requirement, but he wants to take Finance as an online class over the summer and instead use the classroom time for a beloved art class. We poured through the class catalog to find a suitable replacement. Oh, all the fun options! I love course catalogs. That’s how I ended up in grad school for a million years.
I dropped off Jonah and his friend at the high school this morning for Freshman orientation. He sauntered into the school with a flip of his shaggy hair. His friends did some bro-hugs as they greeted each other in front of the school. Four more years and he’s gone. Why am I wishing the summer away?
Ian is in for a huge change next fall. New building, new teachers, new program. For the past three years, he’s been in the same classroom. I’m nervous about this change for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with the abilities of my kid. I have very deep scars from my experiences with imbeciles in the past, and I’m afraid that those scars will never heal. Still, it will be very nice to have Ian in our town. He will have the same vacation schedule as Jonah for the first time ever. He can attend an after-care facility, if I need to put in more work hours. Another first. He might even make a friend in town. If he forgets his lunch, it’s a simple drive across town and not a two-hour trek. I hope this school works out.
We did a lot this summer, but we’re ready for a transition.