I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason(s) as to why I have not posted something ‘reader-worthy’ for a while. I guess the only response I have is – LIFE HAPPENED. Life happened and life continues to happen; I challenge myself to find balance. This must be my overall goal, minus all the details, of course.
Since it’s back to school season, I’ve been asked about my summer. “Did you have a good summer?” “Sad to leave summer?” “Did you go anywhere fun for your summer?” I’m trying to fully understand the questions with no success. Summer hasn’t been the same since October of 2000 - I got a ‘real’ job. When you have a ‘real’ job, you responsibly choose to go to work almost every business day. You’re alert and ready to tackle whatever task may come your way. You decide that it’s better to go home earlier, after that extended happy hour, because calling out sick with a hangover isn’t very responsible. If you do have a hangover, you get your ass out of bed anyway, pump as much caffeine into your veins as possible and make it a point to go out for a greasy burger and fries as lunch. But I digress. Sure, my summer was fun.
As I mentioned, the end of summer leads into the start of school. This year would be much different for me – Ava would be starting Kindergarten. Ava would be getting on a bus to travel to a brand new school, not knowing anyone, and then finish her day in a new after care program. My emotional circuit was on overdrive. My husband will tell you there were a few shorts causing some disruption to the regularly scheduled program, but he rolls with it. (God Bless that man). The first day of school was also my birthday.
I remember when birthdays used to be a time of pride and celebration for me. I looked forward to being a princess for the day (and, maybe I stretch it out a little). I have fond memories of the year that my birthday fell on the first day of school. I felt like a celebrity. I sauntered down the hallway, pony tail a-swingin’, with a tray of ice cream cone cupcakes for the class. As the years passed, my excitement transformed into fear, dread and eventually, a slight (ever so slight) depression. I find difficulty embracing the aging process. I’ll save that topic for another day.
On Labor Day, this Labor Day, Ava and I prepped for the day ahead – we picked out clothes for the week, packed her book bag and planned lunches and snacks. After tucking both kids in bed, I slumped on the couch and began to cry. I know…it’s hard to believe. I do cry. I cried for the time that had passed, the time that was approaching and the time of the future. I challenged myself to blossom in the moment, but I couldn’t pull myself out of the dark abyss. The unnecessary sobbing prompted a conversation with my husband. We didn’t fully solve my problem, but the chatter helped calm me down. I was thankful for the time. Before turning in for the evening, I chased two ibuprofen with a glass of water.
Tuesday, September 3rd – the morning began with a three mile run to welcome the day. Before I could catch my breath, the rest of the house awoke filled with anticipation. In what seemed like five minutes, I trailed behind Ava and Marcus, holding hands, walking to the bus stop. Tears welled in my eyes as the bright yellow cheese wagon rounded the corner and barreled up the road. The bus slowed down, yellow lights flashing until it came to a complete stop. Red lights. Red stop sign. It all happened so fast. We walked Ava across the street (I swear she was skipping). I remember her climbing those stairs – she didn’t look back. Just like me…on MY first day of school.