My three not-so-munchkin-sized kids started to school this week. Everyone hit the academic buildings on Monday morning -- okay, the college student doesn't start until noon on Mondays. That seems so wrong in the real world, but makes perfect sense in the college environment. So this year it was two high schoolers and one collegiate preppy.
What changes when the kids hit that higher level of learning?
Did I buy fewer supplies?
The requirement is for fewer boxes of crayons, but more map pencils. The glue in the bottle stage has passed, as it's on to the all important glue stick mania. School note: there is no such thing as too many glue sticks in the house. Fewer spirals, the cheap 100 page ones are obsolete, but more of the 3 to 5 subject variety. Of course, those are never on sale -- ANY WHERE! No construction paper or Manila paper, but colored pens are a must and some must be fine point, while others are medium point and just for good measure, please throw in a Sharpie or two. Still need book covers, dividers, scads of 3 X 5 and 4 X 6 cards. Oh, and never mistake that buying only one size of note cards will suffice. Ah contra, if 3 X 5 cards are purchased, then the demand will be for 4 X 6. Same with three-ring binders and the color choice. If last year every band and choir student for the entire region was required to purchase a navy 3-ring binder, then rest assured the entire stack secreted away for a smooth school start will not be this year's color choice. The note will say black or red or fuchsia, but guaranteed it won't be the stocked color.
Did I spend less money? Are you nuts? I said two high schoolers and one college student. There is never enough money set aside! NEVER. Did I point out never?
Was the first day less stressful? No, but at this point of fifteen odd school years, we've grown so accustomed to the controlled chaos of morning insanity that it almost seems natural.
Is the school drop easier?
For the first time in many years, actually for the first time ever, I need only see my dumplings to one school building. The college student would take serious umbrage if I tried to walk her to class. So, it's one drop at the high school then I'm home again, home again, like pinky pig.
Did the house seem empty, lonely even, after they'd left? Absolutely. Some things, such as missing a child, is a constant in a parent's life. The minute my oldest moves back to college, even knowing that she loves her university and is geared for learning, I miss her. When the high schoolers were safely ensconced in their home away from home for seven daily hours for the next 178 school days, the house seemed too large, strangely silently, and definitely lonely.
As for the first two days of school . . . well, we're all still standing and that's something important. No one absolutely HATES a teacher, YET! Everyone has someone to eat lunch with, to walk the halls (campus) with, and the work load looks overwhelming as it always does at the beginning.
The best part is that they always come home at day's end -- I do need to wait for 'non-football' weekends to get my college student home, but they're here for dinner and conversation, sharing parts of their day and more importantly, parts of themselves.
My 6'5" son has dubbed me 'Mini-Mom. I'm not exactly sure when I became the smallest in my house, but short I am compared to the gentle giants that I raise. Short or not, I feel a thousand feet tall when they rush in the house to tell some terrific tidbit about their day. Some things don't change at all.