We're closing in on the final couple weeks of summer vacation, and I'm a little blue. I always have trouble letting go of our kids in the fall- school just takes up so many hours of their day! It's one of the few ways in which I am thankful to be a muggle: At least they're still living at home! They could be going away to school (um, somewhere- Rowling never addressed exactly where or what the North American school of magic was. It would most likely need to be somewhere remote, right? Wyoming, maybe?) until Christmas, so I suppose I'll console myself with the fact that I still get to see them everyday at 3:20 pm.
I've learned to accept that I panic a bit every August: Where did the summer go? Time to do aaaaallll the fun summer things I put off in June and July, packing the zoo and Reiman Gardens and pancakes for breakfast and one last trip to Big Creek and late nights watching meteor showers (this one's not my fault, as I have no control over the Perseids...yet) into three short weeks, the hopeful effect being our children will be good and sick of me come the first day of school, and eager to jump on that school bus and march into those classrooms where they will, naturally, be star pupils. (You are welcome teachers- also, please be advised this little fantasy of mine does not apparently feature my own children. I'm as sad about this as you are.)
In addition to the manic We Will Have Fun or Die Trying activities, we still have to do our back-to-school shopping. This is a gauntlet that does not end, as you might believe, when every item on a myriad of lists has been checked off, oh no: It's over when none of our children are speaking to me and I have made at least one cry tears of rage and/or self-pity. Because, as it turns out, the lack of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed backpack in one's life is totally worth crying over. Thankfully I have a titanium-plated heart (at least according to one of the more dramatic of our children, i.e., ALL OF THEM) and cannot be swayed by tears or begging. At least I don't have any pillows to make this year.
I therefore have two specific sets of instructions for you all: Internet companions, if it seems like I've become one of those irksome parents who does All The Things, filling each day with a precious something-or-other for our offspring; and Real Life companions, if you see me at the store- any store- with heart-broken children; to both of you, all of you, please realize that it is simply August, and this is how we do.