The Groundhog Died (Back to School Post)

As the clock is nearing midnight on this, the very last day of August, I am thinking about how awesome it’s going to be when Olivier wakes up in the morning and I will get to tell him that it’s September. The longest August in the history of Augusts is complete.

No really. I don’t think you understand. Living with this child has been like the movie Groundhog Day happening in live action every single day for the last 31 days. I walk in to groggy yawns and Olivier blinking at me and squinting because he doesn’t have his glasses on yet, and then he asks me the questions. “What month is it? Is it still August?” Of course it’s still August. August is going to last for the rest of all of our natural lives. Obviously. Even the August page on my calendar was hanging on by a thread until I ripped it off a day early today. After which Andreas made me write in August 31 on the September page because I totally messed with his reality by switching it.

I can’t stress the every morning part of Olivier’s shenanigans enough. Bill Murray would be so bloody proud of my restraint in not throwing kitchen appliances into the bathtub with myself. Like truly. Gosh. I could have learned how to play the piano and emotionally manipulate people this month. Le sigh. There’s always next year, I suppose.

September. By the time I hit post on this blog it’ll be September. Which means that August is well and truly over AND that we have 1 more sleep till school. 1 more sleep till Olivier goes to his first day of kindergarten. Whose idea was labor day anyway? As if the last thing parents need standing between us and the first day of school is a long weekend, because 2 months of summer isn’t enough that we have to tack on an extra day. The government is to blame for this, for sure. Probably.

I feel like back in June I was stressing out about whether or not Olivier was even ready for school, but then August came along to squash my anxiety and now I don’t even know what I was thinking. Is he ready? Lord have mercy. He’s going.

You know who else is going to school? Mateo and Andreas, straight into grade 4 and grade 2. Who were lectured today in the finer points of why I do not care about their every squabble and argument. Like I wake up in the morning joyously strategizing new ways to make their lives and video games a fair and equitable experience. No. I care about peace and quiet. They were stunned. Peace and quiet are not on the list of core values for 9 and almost-7 year old boys. It was almost like I was speaking French to them.

You know what else they learned this week, as I fell off the end of my rope? They learned that they actually have two mothers. Their other mother is a man called Daddy who can and does do all of the things that I can do, except for birth them. So when they see me and Glenn standing or sitting or canoodling on the couch together, and they start a sentence with the word “mom” it has come to their attention that they may as well be speaking French, because Dad is for sure going to be the one who answers them. This is why God says we’re one flesh. I totally get that part now.

I thought I had a point here. Right.

Summer. Summer has been awesome. We have gone to all the places and done all the things. We have watched the movies and had the fires and the parties and the rainy days inside. They have read books and practiced their math (no really, they really did!). Play dates have been played. Our trampoline has been jumped half to death. There is nothing left. Not one thing. So what? So back to school.

We saw dinosaur bones this summer. Total highlight.

We saw dinosaur bones this summer. Total highlight.

Family selfie having one of so very many good times.

Family selfie having one of so very many good times.

We went to the school this week to explain Olivier’s inhaler to his new teachers, who were so sweet and definitely on team ‘keep him alive with meds’ – so we like them for sure. And to give Andreas a chance to meet his new teacher quietly, without chaos and first day pressure. She even showed him his new classroom and let him pick his desk. We like her already. (His teachers in years before have done the same and we like them too.) Mateo probably won’t let me go anywhere near his new teacher but I’m sure she’s lovely. I always pray over the summer, for the new teachers and the school year and for this and that as it comes to mind. At the beginning of summer my prayers are for some kind of badass Miss Honey type to grace my children for the coming year. By the first day of school I’m just like so thrilled that they didn’t get the Trunchbull.

Sharing my kids with total strangers is hard for me. Not homeschooling is hard, because I love learning and love teaching my kids. But I feel like I’m supposed to send them. Mateo would disown me if I tried to keep him home. He’s been asking to go back since the middle of July. Olivier is so sweet that he’d forgive me but he’d be sad forever if I kept him home. Andreas would never go to school ever if I didn’t make him, and that is precisely why I make him. For now. Maybe one day back to school will be a shift in routine at home. Right now, back to school means my kids go to an actual school.

But didn’t I just have a nervous breakdown with words over sending my kids back to school? Why the conflict? Because motherhood is a contradiction. Everything about it. School included. I want them to go back, while simultaneously plotting pulling them all out of school and converting our basement into a classroom so that I can be the one who teaches them. Messed up right?

As for Glenn, well I asked him today what on earth we are going to do when it’s raining or snowing and all the boys are at school and Rosalie is napping? He’s a roofer so when it rains and snows he is home. Basically I walked into a wink and how-you-doin’ head nod with such a stupid question as that. Honey come hither, is where Glenn stands on the back to school question.

Whatever though. The groundhog died or something, and August is over. September is here. Fall is like practically here. School is here. You may now kiss your bride.

copyright (c) 2014 Jenna Pelias // all rights reserved

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