Almost my whole life as a parent was also spent as a teacher, so back to school time was a melancholy mix of emotions. Not only would Daughter be heading back, but it would be time for me to work again. As much as I loved my job, I would always be a little sad that the long days of leisurely learning and preparing my classroom were over, along with the days of adventure with Daughter. While she would always be ready to go back to school I would be a little hesitant and wish I had just a few more days.
During all of this, I would see commercials on TV advertising celebratory parents sending their children off to school. I never understood these commercials and the way the parents were cheering the school bus or shoving their children out the door. Wouldn’t they be sad to see their children leave? Wouldn’t they miss the closeness? The crafts? The reading? The laughing?
After this summer, here’s what I know: sure, they’ll miss those things. Sort of. They’ll miss the sweetness and the lazy mornings. They’ll miss so many things. But for right now, they just want their lives back. They want to be free of the hormones and the complaints of “I’m bored.” They want their homes to be clean for more than five minutes at a time. They want to take a nap.
Now that I work from home, I really understand. I am going to miss Daughter like crazy while she’s away at school, and the extra pain of not being a classroom teacher will certainly add to that sting. But with the feeling I have now, the excitement I have about grocery shopping without someone complaining, the ability to clean one room at a time and take a break in the middle without worrying that muddy feet will tromp through a room I just finished? I get it now. I really do.