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Back to School Can Only Mean One Thing: Panic

Somewhere between the celebration of the last day of school and today, the calendar quickly flipped through June and July and has now landed on mid-August. That led to just one thing in my house. Panic.

It isn’t so much the kids who are in a state of back-to-school panic, but I am in the midst of it. Wait! I am not ready. Where did those hours go that I was going to use to de-clutter and organize the kids’ rooms? What happened to the free time I was going to spend getting myself ready for all of the PTA duties that lie ahead? How did time go by so fast that suddenly the kids have outgrown their clothes and we find ourselves in a rush to get those much beloved new outfits for school? (Beloved by me. Dreaded by the kids.) I had a plan. A plan, people!

The plan was lost somewhere between a vacation to the beach for two weeks, a week out of town for me, and the lazy days of summer when we felt we had all the time in the world to get ready. I don’t regret a moment of the time we spent just enjoying the freedom of being without much of a schedule this summer. In fact, I live for those times when we don’t have to schedule every moment of every day in order to get each kid where he or she needs to be – on time.

This year, my three kids are in three different schools. That means my life of chaos has become a life of chaos in triplicate. Three sets of forms. (Where did I put those?) Three different drop-off times. (Who has to be at which school at what time?) Three different PTAs with three different volunteer times. (When do those meetings start again?) And of course, three sets of school supplies. Thankfully, two of the three schools offer them, so that saves me some travel time to every store in my city to find the exact notebooks, pencils, and books required.

Come to think of it, the only one in panic mode is me.

The kids are just in a blissful state of denial.

Their thought process is much different than mine. It's more along the lines of, "No way does school start in two weeks. I can stay up all night and sleep all day." (Panic for mom! Get them on a schedule STAT.) They feel they have all the time in the world to get their rooms “school ready,” which in our family means many things. Rooms cleaned. ("I want to see your floor again!") And organized. ("Do not ask me where your jeans are. Hang them up!") And a cleared-off desk. ("You really don’t need to have last year’s notes still on your desk. You don’t need them!") They seem to think that none of this matters. Why? Because, “Mooooom, it is still summer!”

Perhaps back-to-school in our house can only mean one thing — MOM panics. Can I have my summer back?

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