Quiet

Today’s the day — the first day of school.

It was frenetic this morning. The kids woke up early. They radiated an extra energy that comes only from first-day jitters and the anticipation of seeing all their friends again. The twins only checked the clock 14,000 times this morning, making sure that they weren’t going to miss the bus. They packed and repacked their supplies and changed their minds roughly 10 times about what they wanted for lunch.

And that was before 7 a.m.

Everyone was twitchy and excited and hyper and nervous, including me. The kids remind me of those model balsam airplanes that fly by winding up a rubber band: all August long, they’ve been cranking up their invisible energy-bands and today, zing! They are released.

And now… nothing.

It’s like all the life has been vacuumed out of the house. It’s quiet here — the kind of quiet I used to long for back when I raced my oldest child to school with two squalling babies clipped into their infant car seats. At that time, I used to call my mother to wonder aloud about the possibility of ever hearing myself think again; she used to say, “Just wait. You’ll find that you will miss it all.”

I thought she was only saying that to make me feel better, but now… I get it. Sure, for the first 30 minutes it was glorious. I can finally go through all the piles of stuff and get some work done without the 80 interruptions a minute. But I miss that sound of kids tromping through the house, banging the front door as they run out, playing with Legos, and even, God help me, the low-level squabbling over the most mundane thing.

Because it’s eerie quiet once again.

This year, more than any other year in the past, I find myself not quite ready to let go. Our oldest is starting high school, and with each passing day, I realize that he’s growing up and away from us. He’s been busy all summer, over at the high school more than at home. With the start of his freshman year, it hit me that we only have three more of these first-days-of-school left with him before he starts college. Three more. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

I’m not the only one who is taken aback by the sudden quiet.

sadlou

Louie’s lost, you know. He’s had his kids to play with, run after and hang out with all summer long, and now they’re gone. I think we both need a long walk and a little treat as we adjust to the new normal again.

When’s the first day of school near you? 

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About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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12 Responses to Quiet

  1. The kids here in Berlin are already back at school, but my little sister in England returns to school on the 4th September. I always loved the first day of school. The first week of September is typically gorgeous, in terms of weather, and I enjoyed the freshness of everything: new pencil case, new pens, new school uniform….x

  2. First day of school in NYC is September 9th. My daughter has explained to me in the most gentle way possible that I can no longer hold her hand when I walk her to school. I knew this day was coming yet somehow, I took me by surprise.

    I hope she will be excited for the first day. She saw a commercial for an online college and now is trying to convince me that “online learning is better” and that she doesn’t need to go to elementary school anymore. Wish me luck!

    • Oh, I know how you feel: that first time when they tell you that they don’t want to hold your hand is so bittersweet and a little shocking no matter how prepared you are. And don’t you find that once they hit the school years, little “independence markers” (like not wanting to hold your hand) start to flood in? The toddler years went really slowly compared to this….

      I absolutely love that she’s already figuring out new angles on the whole school thing! So funny! Good luck to you and your daughter this upcoming school year! Have a great last few weeks of summer!! (Stay cool too!)

  3. Lynne says:

    We start school next week. What will be strange is that even though our teens sleep most of the morning, the quiet when they are out of the house will be different when they aren’t here…

  4. Mine head back tomorrow! Tonight it’s one last check that their bags are packed, showers and then bed. All day today they’ve been complaining about how quickly summer has gone by. I feel sad for them…when I was a kid, summer seemed to last forever…

    • Oh, happy first day of school to your kids (and you)! And I agree — my summer’s seemed to stretch on forever when I was a kid, even though I was always the one who really wanted to go back. Yeah, I was that kid…. 🙂

  5. Micha says:

    Ours don’t go back until the 9th! I have no idea what’s up with that. Before you know it, they’ll be back to bugging you on Christmas break! Enjoy. (I think Louie needs a pupsicle to cheer him up…hehe)

    • It’s so hot outside right now that at least your kids can enjoy it! All three of my kids were complaining about how summer weather hit right as they had to head back to school. Our district gets out in early, early June — how about yours?

      Louie was a mess, poor thing. I agree — a pupsicle would be the perfect way to cheer him up!

      • Micha says:

        They go until mid-June usually – unless there are snow days (or hurricanes!) to make up for. If the kids were home, would the pool you go to still be open?

      • Our pool is only open on weekends until Labor Day, and then it’s so crowded, the kids can only bob up and down. They are not that impressed with it now.

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