"I better start practicing carrying this," Si says, marching across the living room with his backpack on. "Pretty soon I'm going to be carrying it all the time!"
"Will I be able to ride my bike to kindergarten?" asks Helen, as she straps on her pink Barbie helmet and gets ready for her evening wobble around the neighborhood. (The answer, BTW, is Yes! Only we'll have to leave an hour before school starts because the only thing slower than walking at this point is biking).
"I'm going to take lunch three days a week and on Wednesdays, there's pizza day, so then I'll just get to choose one other lunch," says Silas, and then Helen repeats it, with big eyes, only she makes sure that I remember that she doesn't like pizza.
They're getting revved up for school to start, in other words. We've got piles of brand-new school supplies, we've looked online at the teacher teams for each of their grades, we've talked about the new bus stop, about which before-and-after-school activities we're going to do, and about the fall semester schedule. We've gone through their homework/artwork boxes and emptied them out so they're ready for the onslaught of school projects. We're, uh, going to figure out the back-to-school-clothes situation any day now. They're ready. We're ready. I'm ready.
Except I'm not. I am SAD, and for really no reason at all. I am sad that Helen's daycare/preschool is no longer a place we need to go. I am sad that the bedtime routine no longer involves getting Helen into a swimsuit and remembering to put her undies and towel into her swim bag (both my kids prefer to streamline the morning routine by putting their clean clothes on the night before). I am sad that Si's camps are done, even though they were really vast sinks of inconvenience and he didn't even like them all that much (except for archery. He LOVED archery). I am sad that the summer hourglass is down to its last few grains and we've only gone camping ONCE and hiking TWICE and haven't even made popsicles or used our ice cream maker. I am HEARTBROKEN that Silas is practically in middle school (fourth grade! it's crazy! every year a new grade!) I am sad, or perhaps a better word is sorry, that we didn't schedule our summer better. (For the record, next year we will concentrate on doing camp and swim lessons in June, trips in July, and maybe rely on parents and/or whatever late season camps we can find for August. The last few weeks before school starts are scheduling HELL.)
A lot of this sadness, though, is because we're between routines. As soon as school starts and we have our daily and weekly schedules figured out, life will go back to being predictable and calm.
Except, of course, for the renovation. Demo seems likely to begin NEXT WEEK--just in time for school.