Does school really have to start again?

I’ve been feeling pretty guilty this summer. I have been enjoying the calm.

We’ve been down to two kids as The Girl has been visiting her mom. We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of her moving in with us. What a year. I won’t pretend it has been a picnic. Moving from two full time kids to three and coping with both toddlers and a teenager has been, shall we say politely, a challenge.

The thing is, even though it has been quieter with one less kid, I’m missing her terribly. I’m actually looking forward to the increase in chaos that will come with her return. It’s funny, one of the first things people say when they learn my teenage step-daughter has moved in with us is ‘oh, a live-in babysitter, isn’t that great.’ I won’t deny it, that’s a really great perk, she’s fabulous with the kids but, in reality it hasn’t been the free babysitting I’ve missed. What I miss is her smile and her laughter when she’s playing with the boys. I miss her company. I even miss her weird taste in TV (John and Kate has never graced my TV set until she joined in the competition for the DVR).

What I don’t miss is school. In my time away this summer, I have realized school is the major source of my stress. Working from home is great in so many ways but being the one at home when school is over is not always fun. I have to play the heavy when it comes to late assignments or poor test marks or enforced studying. I’ve realized the calm I’ve been feeling has had nothing to do with The Girl’s absence and has everything to do with school being out for the summer.

I can’t wait for The Girl’s return and I am so glad we will get a few weeks of summer with her before school starts. I have to say I feel a bit like a kid again. I’m savouring this last month of summer and have something akin to dread for the first day of school. The school supplies in the stores fill me with the same heavy feeling the did when I was a kid. But I’d rather buy a trashy novel for another beach day than binders and loose leaf. Can’t I stay on the beach forever?

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