Where has the time gone? Not coincidentally, my last post was on August 13th, and Bella came home from camp on the 14th. So, it's been a month filled with beach days, endless car rides, sisterly screaming matches, lost flip-flops, sunburns, ice-cream, potty training, barbecues, family gatherings, arguments over summer assignments, backpack and shoe shopping, boredom, and a high holy day thrown in for good measure. You know it. You just lived it, too.
My friend Debs, who lives in the UK, texted me to say she misses my blog posts (bless you, dear). When I told her today was the first day of school, she replied, "Wow, your holidays are long!"
Yes, they certainly are. My kids had eleven weeks vacation this summer (I had to count it twice to be sure, because it seems crazy), while Debs' kids had only six. Think about the difference. That's a lot of time to entertain the offspring, and it costs a lot of money. For many working parents, it's a major financial hardship. Also, studies have shown that for many children all that time out of the classroom means more catch-up academically at the beginning of each new school year.
I'm not sure that I'm ready to argue for a true year-round school schedule, mainly because I love (and my kids love) summer camp. But I do think that the school year could be adjusted and lengthened a tad . . . maybe a few more days off in the winter, and a few days more of school at the end of summer.
True, this year felt especially long because of the awkward occurrence of Rosh Hashanah just after Labor Day. The past week has felt like one long Sunday, in which we're all supposed to be happy and free from obligation, but we're all-too-aware that the return to school, i.e. real life, is coming. Anxiety has been simmering in my girls like a pot of water taking forever to boil. Even Louisa, who starts pre-school on Wednesday, knows that school is coming, and with little awareness of time, she doesn't understand why we don't march to her new classroom right now.
Which is all to say that this morning was a blessing, indeed. "I feel like a new woman," I texted back to Debs, imagining the reclaimed space in my brain now that my kids will spend a few hours each day having theirs stroked by someone other than me.
Happy family on the first day of school