Just in case anyone out there has lost track of time, I want to remind you that we’re on the homestretch of summer. Not that I’m excited or anything.

(Clock courtesy of Counting Down To)

Because, why would I be thrilled that school will be in session? What would want to make me trade in our long summer days of children making constant messes with all 3,652 toys we own and the 5 things that their parents have asked them not to play with? Sure, I slightly detest the Lunchbox Rush at 7:14 am. Yet it seems my children eat 562 times more food while not in the school building.

Because I want this to be a happy post, I’m not going to mention the constant costume changes and the mounds for laundry. I gave up on beach towels a month ago. I’m counting on the chlorine to disinfect while it dries in the sun before I fold them up and return them to the closet.

Also, please sit with me in my grief. My dishwasher broke. THREE WEEKS AGO. Lowe’s promised me a new one but now they’re not answering their phone, like a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.

It’s not that I’m excited to have summer over (okay, maybe I am a little) nor am I ungrateful for the summer life we create. I recognize that having all of my people under my roof during the brightest days of the year has many benefits.  I have help. Also, I’m not scrounging for childcare. I recognize many working parents come to the point when children outgrow early childhood daycare but yet aren’t quite ready to roam the streets stay home alone. So in all my crabbyness, please also hear me say out loud: I’m lucky – privileged – and I know it. I also know that I won’t be “helping” to pick up my basement again until those little messmakers are under the care and responsibility of trained professionals.

So maybe, just maybe, when the school supply list arrived, I immediately hopped online to fill my virtual cart with crayolas. Note: Target will only let you have 30 items in your cart. Note: the approximate size of cart filled only with items for 2 children to go back to school is 31 items.  (As a born and bred nerd, the school supply aisle is my absolute favorite, so it pains me to forego the in-person trip. I’m actually plotting to spend the first day of school among the paper and pens, alone. Heaven.)

Did I mention that the baby (of the 3-year-old variant) will also be spending some time with a teacher this year? Yes, my friends. I’m going to get (up to) a solid 5 hours per week with no one declaring they don’t like the song on the radio, lamenting that his banana broke while peeling it, or insisting that I watch how they can touch their toes to their ears while I try to pee in peace. Most real adults get these peaceful hours just on their commute to work, but I’ll gladly pay a local church to give me such freedoms.

So, while I will soak up the final days of afternoon swims and baseball fights games in the yard, I will endure as I do with all things: with a deep sense of hope. The season of crisp, clean notebook pages and sharpened crayons are upon us. The rhythm and regularity of an actual schedule will soon guide us.

Teacher friends, I hand the torch to you. Godspeed.

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