What have I been up to lately that has kept me so far from the home I love away from this here blog?
I may or may not have been mainlining show tunes for the past 72 work hours - that Fiddler on the Roof was some kinda show, eh?
The difference between Back to School and End of School is riotous.
We have new (or at least, clean!) backpacks, chockablock full of freshly sharpened pencils (probably those black ones that everyone loves and I only pony up the dough for once a year), all of the pens have caps AND ink, notebooks are stiff and solid. Fresh smelling, clean lunch boxes contain an appetizing array of well balanced, colorful meal choices that contain a protein, fruit, veg and healthy beverage choice and may or may not be Pinterest approved. All uniform pieces are pressed, socks match, sneakers are bright and unscuffed and dress shoes gleam. We know where the sweaters and headbands are for dress uniform, every girl has booty shorts for under her jumpers, and we not only know where the uniform tie is, we have a spare.
What I'm saying is, we ROCK the beginning of school.
We lose it sometime around, say, March.
My girls have approximately 45686774 tall green uniform socks. Half of them are cable knit, half are sheer. Every single sock is a different shade of green and a different height on a leg - but it really doesn't matter, because after they've had them on for seventeen seconds, those socks are in a puddle around the ankles. Guess that's what happens when you are #3 and #4 to wear those dumb socks?
In the fall, we'll be buying all new socks, because I swear to you I'm throwing all of these away. The stress of trying to make matches has caused my right eye to develop a twitch.
And don't look for those cute little bike shorts or bloomers under the jummpers - my girls have defaulted to pj bottoms. Hey, it makes getting dressed in the morning just that much easier...
Today, three of my kids brought home the contents of their desks and lockers and we cleaned out bookbags. There were ripped up notebooks, assorted random sheets, broken pencils and capless markers. Book covers that were once brightly colored, now multiple shades of gray. Half eaten (and forgotten) cereal bars ground into the bottom of the bookbags, empty juice pouches and cracker packaging. A cut out gingerbread man - labeled in Spanish, naturally - decorates my desk now, a remnant of winter break activities that never made it home. The desk plates with their names written in perfect cursive now grace my refrigerator, as if I'd ever forget who eats all of the food.
Speaking of food - there are three lunches left to pack for the two shorties - I don't want to buy another applesauce cup/cracker packet/granola bar, and we are all burnt out on pbj/soup in a thermos/cereal and milk/crackers and cheese. This morning, I stood in the pantry, coffeeless - never a good idea - and wondered if I could get away with sending some raisins and pretzel sticks. Maybe if I added a spoonful of soy butter?
Except that we are out of soy butter, even though we buy it 9 pounds at a time, and the replacement tubs won't be here until Wednesday afternoon. Food allergy timing fail on that one.
I understand the concept behind end of the school year ceremonies/concerts/shows/festivals - I just wish some of them could be in February. January, even. Maybe March, as long as Easter is late. In the past month, we've had my opera student's performance, two band concerts, May procession, auditions/juries, last 8th grade Mass, final exams, SOL's, Talent Show, Art Festival, 4 birthday parties, graduation,and Field day. We still have upcoming: Spanish NHS induction, final ballet performance, class parties and last day of school.
All but the last day of school could be spread out, don't you think? I mean, a band concert with a brand new trumpet student is kinda like the end of the year, and how much ballet do they really learn in 9 months, anyway?
:) I'm kidding. Maybe. I attend and take pictures and video, smile and clap and enjoy - but I'm conscious of the fact that I'm feeling like nothing so much as a failure by the end of the school year. Lunch accounts are overdrawn, papers go unsigned, I don't help to study for tests. Treading water takes on a whole new meaning in June. I envy those mothers who appear at the end of the school year parties with fresh outfits, cute hair, and a tray of custom cut strawberries and pineapple in pleasing cut outs for the class party, and send in professionally wrapped customized-to-each-teacher present.
I'm doing good to just show up.
Tell me your End of the School year fail. Let's stretch out on the sofa in exhausted solidarity and raise an eyelid to the long, tantrum filled, days of summer that are just around the corner.
And then we will make a paper chain as a countdown to the next school year, so we can have another chance to make a fresh start.