Simplify My Life

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.
~Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, 1941

As summer winds to a close I’m getting that fluttering feeling again-anyone involved with education knows what I’m talking about. Students, teachers, parents – we all feel it.

 If you’re a student, it’s that butterflies-kind of feeling that sets your body trembling at the thought of one last day at the pool, one more night hanging out under the streetlight on your block, and the last time you can sleep in as late as you want without worrying about all your homework, studying, or chores that need to be done.

 If you’re a teacher like me, well, it’s something similar, but a bit different. It’s that panicky-kind of feeling at the thought of the to-do list still undone, the novels not quite finished, the essays you want to write instead of grade, and the last time you can wake up early and do exactly what you want to do without worrying about all your students, your grading, or chores that need to be done.

If you’re a parent, it could be a mixed bag.  It’s that sorrowful feeling of days gone by, kids who’ve grown up before your eyes.  It’s wishing you had one more night to just cuddle instead of going to bed early, and the day doesn’t operate on a schedule.

Or I suppose you could be excited to have your kids out of the house and let someone else deal with them – no more arguing over TV time, restocking the fridge every other day, or groaning when your teen doesn’t wake up until the day is half over.

Summer is supposed to simplify my life. I want June again.  The smell of roses, the sun powdered gold. Rolling dizzily down the grassy slopes, never worried about what was at the end. The possibilities.

You remember what it was like, right?  It WAS simple then.

 Did it thrill you to go ‘back-to-school’ shopping, buying new Keds and a backpack ready to organize your way to straight As?

 Do you remember choosing your new binder, notebooks, and a pencil box, if you were lucky?

 Did you agonize over the Pee-Chee folder versus the one with the puppies, or the Scooby-Doo lunchbox over a paper sack?

I wish it were this simple for me now.

The teacher in me doesn’t know how to operate on any other type of calendar-if September came and I wasn’t in a classroom I think my world would spin off its axis.

The parent in me doesn’t want to lose the priceless minutes I have just being a mom-not a worker, or a helper, or the one responsible for anyone else’s kids.  Just mine.

Summer is supposed to simplify my life.

Instead, I feel torn in half.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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16 thoughts on “Simplify My Life

  1. mail4rosey says:

    I imagine there is sooo much that goes into the planning of a school year.

    And yes, shopping for school supplies WAS always a big thing for me, and I noted it has been w/all four of my children too. Some things never change (and that’s a good thing).

    I hope you can enjoy the last few days of your summer.

    1. Rosey, I plan on taking each of these last days one at a time and savoring every minute!

  2. I’m not a teacher but a parent. The end of summer for me is also so bitter sweet! I love not having to worry about homework, packing lunches, or waking cranky, sleepy kids and forcing them through the morning routine. I love how relaxed they are, and how their attitudes seem to improve as summer goes by. At the same time, summer brings more fights, arguments, and a struggle to regain some sense of a routine. I’m definitely not looking forward to the back to school shopping, or the filling out of 20 forms (X’s 4 since I have four kids) the school sends home that first day. I’m not looking forward to it, yet at the same time, I kind of am! Such a strange phenomenon! 🙂

    1. Mommy, I know how you feel. This summer my family traveled a lot, so it was on the one hand great fun to have the adventures, but on the other, hard to not have the down time at home. We’ll see how it goes!

  3. All of those things!! Perfectly said… Sigh…. I am treasuring this last week. Must go buy school supplies tomorrow. Registration Wed for both kids. Helping with reg on Thur. It’s already starting isn’t it? But the first day of school stands out on its own. This is the first year I’ve gone back to school the same day as the kids. When I taught preschool, I always had an extra week!

    1. Isn’t it crazy all the stuff to do? I like being on the same schedule as the kids-except that I start working and meetings a full week earlier – that means tomorrow! Yikes!

  4. Pepper Tan says:

    I can imagine a lot of other moms- and teachers- out there just sipping every last drop of summer fun. But I guess it’s good that we all go through that transition: the kids going back to school and then having school breaks. The change is refreshing to some extent 🙂

    1. Hi Pepper,
      Thanks for giving me perspective. The transitions are important to honor, and exciting to see what comes next.

  5. Momfever says:

    I loved reading this post. As a parent I kind of look forward to having the kids back in school, because it makes my life so much more quiet. But I know I’ll also miss them…

    1. Thanks, Mom. I don’t know what it’s like to have a quiet house to myself, but I do know a lot of moms who feel the same way you do!

  6. this month is a mixed bag of feelings for sure–although my kids are already saying they are ready to go back to school!!! YEP they love it–its funny -I’m the one saying don’t you want more days at the park-beach-to ride your bike…

    1. Pamela, it’s so great that your kids are eager to go back-that says a lot about how you’ve raised them to honor the importance of education!

  7. You mean I’m not the only frazzled mommy around? LOL!! I hear you!! and could not agree with you more! Summer used to be so easy back in the day {when I was young}!! Pea

  8. Carla, I wonder if our kids were writing this post, if they would agree about simplicity. Maybe to them summer still does bring that, even though to us modern life seems so much more complicated. I’ll have to ask my daughter…

  9. *** I want June again. The smell of roses, the sun powdered gold. Rolling dizzily down the grassy slopes, never worried about what was at the end. The possibilities.***

    I. Want. That.

    I want it all back. Xxxx

    1. Me, too, my dear. Only in my dreams, for now, I’m afraid.

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