I don’t want school to start!  We got home from the beach this past Sunday and jumped directly into back to school mode.  We have spent a fortune on school supplies and dance registrations.  We’ve had our first soccer practice.  I spent today sending out emails about the upcoming women’s bible study session and the upcoming Stephen Ministry training.  We have been to middle school Get Ready For School Fair and the elementary school Open House.  We are finishing up summer Algebra packets and reading assignments.  We are dusting off the piano books in anticipation of the first lesson.  It has begun and I am not happy about it.

Usually, at this time of year, I am anticipating getting back into our school year routine with pleasure.  For some reason, I don’t feel that way this year.  Maybe because we have had a really fun summer.  Maybe because my kids are older and easier to have around.  Maybe because they are starting to have their own social lives that don’t include me, so I am more protective of the time I do have with them.  Whatever it is, I am really feeling sad about them being gone all day…thank God I am not sending one off to college like several of my friends!!

Besides them being gone all day, I am feeling sad about starting the busy schedule of homework and activities that characterize our evenings and afternoons.  We have tried to be protective of their schedules and not buy into the high-powered Northern Virginia insanity that we see all around us….we don’t do travel sports, we didn’t join dance company.  There isn’t anything wrong with those things, but so many families around us do multiple travel teams or have dance classes every day of the week.  That just wouldn’t work for our family.  Still, even trying to be reasonable, we are busy.  The homework at the middle school level was a tough adjustment for us last year and I don’t look forward to getting back into that.  Every moment that isn’t scheduled seems to be taken up with homework and I think that 6th and 8th grade Math will start to push the outer limits of what my brain can recall from my years in school.  In addition to praying for peace, balance and time management skills, I will be purchasing an Algebra for Dummies book!!

Of course, there are some of my personal activities that begin this fall for which I am excited.  We start the new women’s bible study mid-September and that is always a huge blessing to me.  I am also looking forward to beginning our next Stephen Ministry training.  Teaching the Stephen Ministry training is one of my all-time favorite things and I am praying that God will bring forward a wonderful new group of Stephen Ministers to take that journey with us.  My older daughter and I will also begin participating in the production of Footloose in September.

These are all good things….but I really just want to go back to the beach and enjoy my family!  Or hang out at the pool with my girlfriends and their kids.  Or sit around reading books with my girls.  I like having our evenings free and starting our mornings late.  I have been trying to sell the girls on how great it is to be starting school…all the great things to look forward to… but tomorrow I think I will just fuss and whine with them.  We will have the end of summer blues together.  Maybe we will eat ice cream to comfort ourselves.

Then, on Tuesday, we will hit the ground running…