Yes, it's August 14th. Yes, it's crazy early for school to start. Yes, we were just diving into the pool, showing cattle and finishing up summer fun as close as yesterday.
However, maybe it's because last year was a kindergarten year, Joe's first year back, and well, everything else going on, this back to school year just seemed kind of no big deal. The kids know the drill, were age appropriately excited (my fifth grader was a little too "middle school cool" for a lot of pageantry), and because it's so danged early some of the back to school things that get ticked off a list were not. We just didn't have time.
School snuck up on us so quickly that some of our back to school shoes are en route thanks to nordstrom.com, which horrified my third grader, who believes in the all things new for back to school hype. She'll tell you about her devastation that this was not a new backpack year.
Maybe our lack of elation and hype is because I feel a little bit like I have one foot in summer and one foot in fall. Neighboring districts don't start for a few more days, and some weeks. Friends with kids old enough are showing at the state fair, camping out and enjoying things like a deep fried Snickers. With all this around me, I can't seem to choose a side. On one hand, I'm ready for a schedule. It's nearly nine AM, and all beds are made, laundry folded, babies napping, dishes done, whereas just yesterday, I was just rolling in from a run, breakfast dishes still on the table and kids still in bed.
I like both sides of this coin, so maybe that's why I am feeling divided.
This is also a funny time on the farm. Dad has been mowing and mowing and mowing. Uncle Jeff has been crop scouting. We're in mid-August which means things are starting to mature to the point where you can really tell whether or not we're going to be okay or not, and everyone starts to really worry. Harvest is upon us, but seemingly far enough away that summer to-dos are still being done. From our cattle standpoint, this is a time when Clyde, our beloved steer who has done so well this season, will be prepped for his final show.
Clyde will be sold the first weekend in September, and while we know and understand this cycle of a show animal, Anna is steeling herself for this moment.
The season of schizophrenia spreads its wings to every aspect of our life. Summer is fun and awesome but always comes to an end. Same with kids. Kindergarteners move onto first grade. My baby is now in fifth grade and is taller than her teacher. And on the farm, Clyde will move onto the fate that we knew he would have when Anna started prepping him.
So I guess that's why we're trying to keep everything status quo. Life is a cycle, a set of expectations, and barring any tragedy, I expect all of my kids to make it to third grade, so why freak the heck out about it. Sure, I took the back to school pictures, braided the hair, signed up for parties and conferences and met teachers last night, but each year will bring new firsts, new challenges. Maybe it's because last year was so crazy, I'm thinking this year will probably pale in comparison.
I don't know.
Either way, this back to school time has caused me little stress, little tears, and even made me want to go back to teaching a little bit.
Who am I?
The joy of this rambling post is that life will get back to normalcy, and with the bigs gone, I'll have more time to complete a thought, and write about it.
Get excited. Maybe by the end of the day, I'll be back to the Emily who never wants to set foot in a classroom again who is sad because her babies are growing up and will take thousands of pictures of them as they get off the bus.