The week after Labor Day is always a wistful one, as we say goodbye to summer's leisure and get back to the business of business and school. This year it was a particularly wistful week for me, since this is my last year of having a kid at home. My younger child is a senior in high school, so I am less than a year away from an empty nest. I'm sure that this next phase of my life will be full of adventure and freedom and opportunity, and I will embrace it with great enthusiasm when it comes. But after nearly 23 years of being Mom first and foremost, this is a poignant moment indeed.
I have been doing lots of yoga and meditation over the past year; and if I have learned anything, it's that there is great strength to be found in living in the moment. I can choose a constructive mindfulness rather than wallowing in anxiety about the future. I need to focus on the present, to fully embrace the experience that I am having right now.
And so I am approaching this coming transition in a constructive, mindful way. I am choosing to focus on the stuff I hate right now about having children at home, the things that I will not miss at ALL.
Admittedly, it's a short list. I love being a mom. But of course there are negatives. I don't much like filling out forms, especially the ones where you designate emergency contacts, mostly because 23 years into this parenting business, I'm still fuzzy about the protocols surrounding the selection of one's emergency contacts. I definitely hate those forms. What else? PTO guilt trips; I hate those. Actually, I'm not particularly nuts about the PTO itself.
But all of that pales before the nightmare that is Staples on the first day of school. Here, then, are some scenes from the Fifth Circle of Hell:
Note that it is nighttime when we arrived, around 8:30. And still, there was a hefty line at the checkout counter, winding all the way to the back of the store:
The binders are picked over:
You ALWAYS need graph paper, if only for the particularly prime doodling opportunities it affords:
But wait -- what is this?
It's TAPE! Washi tape! Scotch tape! Tape has gotten SO much more awesome since I was buying school supplies for myself. Check this out -- this tape has pink, purple and orange CUPCAKES on it!
Just think of the things you could do with tape like this! You could....um, you might use this tape to....well. I have no clue what you could do with such tape, especially since paper itself is barely a part of our lives anymore. But it is SO COOL. I throw a few rolls in the basket.
I do love school supplies...
....and all the opportunities for impulse novelty tape purchases that a visit to Staples affords, despite the first-day-of school crowds.
So much for that effort to find on the negative in the here-and-now. I guess I will have to focus instead on how much I hate the PTO.