Friday, September 08, 2006

Back To School Tradition

Crazy Hip Blogging Mommas is at it again with the writing collaboration. This time one of the members asked, “What is your back to school tradition?”

(Side note: Now why is that each time I think "Back to School", I hear the "Back to School" song from Grease 2 running through my head. "I gotta go back, back, back to school agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain. Whooooa -o. I gotta go. Back to schooooooooooooooooooooooooool again." It's not even the song from the original Grease. I'm such a sorry and disturbed woman.)

Well, normally our back to school time consists of much crying, yelling and bribery. But you didn't really want to hear about me and what I do to get the kids to go to bed earlier, did you?

Really, our preparing to head back to school probably isn't that much different from others. We get the supplies (or rather this year Grandma and Grandpa totally lifted that financial burden by doing it with the kids this year - THANK YOU!!!), label everything the old-fashioned way (yep we use the original label maker - our hand and a sharpie) and then we all start to prepare mentally for the torture school days that the kids will endure love. (Seriously, my kids love school still so it really is a joy in their minds to go back to school.)

The mental preparation calls for an earlier bedtime at least a week before school starts (two would be better), getting the kids up at the normal school time and talking about all the things they think they will do over the next year. Old friends are remembered and new ones are imagined. Teachers are discussed and lunch choices are laid before them. Field trips and class activities are supposed and they talk about what they really hope will happen over the year.

Physical preps are just as important. All clothes are measured to see what needs to be given to others, trashed or replaced. Bikes are checked to see if they are in good working order. Snacks are purchased so that after school hungers will be quickly abated. Before and after school activities are scheduled, along with the after school chores.

But my favorite part of the "Back to School" tradition? It's the savoring of those last days before the routine begins again. The long walks. The last trips to the pool. The picnics on the weekend. The last movie before the no TV rule is applied. The bedtime snuggles and the first-day-of-school eve's bath. The last whispers of what the next day will hold before the bedroom doors are closed to be reopened on the first day of school.

Those last few days make the entire week possible. All the what-ifs and what-might-be and the let's-enjoy-what's-left-of-summer mentality. The time of year when the kids get to start anew, a blank page of their future just waiting to be scribbled, sometimes outside the lines.

Well... that and the celebratory toasts of champaing that Mr. Right and I have after the kids go to bed. Oh yes, we all love it when school begins again.