Back to school. Those three simple words fill me with such emotion today that I am annoying myself. If you have been following my blog even for a brief time, you must know by now that my oldest is a senior in high school and you probably already have decided that I am not fine with this at all. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with me getting older though I am none too happy with that fact either but, my displeasure in his new found 'senior' status stems from what will happen at the end of this short year. Yes, he is going to graduate and leave me. Yes, I know how selfish (okay bordering on certifiable, I know) I am being in never wanting that to happen but I feel like a two-year-old in the throes of a tantrum. NO! NO! NO! I don't want my children leaving home! I love all the noise and chaos, the endless stream of meals to be made and the never-ending laundry (that might be a stretch) and I love how much they need me even if it is just to find something that had it been put away properly, they would not need me to find at all.
My son's departure next summer will completely upset the apple cart that is my life so to speak. Take 'back to school photos' as an example. I have a tradition where each child stands by the front door, hand on the handle, backpack on shoulder, smiling at the camera. So what will I have to do next year? Hire a stand-in? Do I really only need to cajole three not four children into taking this picture? Impossible. What about my group shot in front of the door? Who is going to bully the younger ones to get the larger shot in the picture? (that never seems to grow old for him). Who will yell 'shut up' to his siblings or blast the radio to drown out their never ending stream of chatter all the way to school? I don't know of any stand-in worthy of such a lofty honor.
Before I became a first-time mom, I read 26 books on everything from baby in utero to baby heading off to kindergarten. Unfortunately for me, first-time mom never ever gave one thought to 'baby heading off to college.' Being the apparent glutton for punishment that I seem to be, I never found one of those books for any of my subsequent children either because if I had, I certainly would have spaced those children better than I did. You see, with my children being spaced as they are, I barely have time to come up for air before the next one walks out the door, too. Damn, I never learn.