When one is a childless adult living in Los Angeles and working in the industry, there is no such thing as Back To School season. There is Pilot Season, Dead Season and End-Of-The-Fiscal-Year-So-We-Better-Hurry-Up-And-Spend-Our-Advertising-Budget-So-We-Can-Get-More-Money-Next-Year. Late August only brought thoughts of oh, I hope they drag out that Sears commercial where I played a teacher. But here in suburbia with two kids, I am really feeling the back to school season. This is Boss’ third year at school…but he is five now, he gets it. Huckleberry also gets it, asking every three minutes “where brother?”
This was the first year since we moved, since we had kids, that we had a summer. A real summer. Filled with pool trips and baseball camps. Working in the garden, painting and crafts and splash pools in the yard. Complete with late afternoon naps and movie nights and way too late bedtimes. It was glorious. We had birthday parties with friends and playdates to the county fair and it was nearly Norman Rockwell in it’s very summer-ness.
Now? It’s over. Boss is to school 5 days a week. Huckleberry and I are on our own. I never understand when parents lament the growing up process…yes, it goes too fast, time is indeed a bitch like that. But the alternative? I will take the bittersweet tears of his childhood slipping through my fingers any day. It just so happened that one of his friends recently called him a baby, and this was hard for him. He is a young five and when you are desperate to be a big kid, being called a baby is the WORST. Baby is the C-word of the small crowd. I reassured him that he was not, in fact, a baby and although it lingered for a few days, he shook it off eventually and was back in the fray before we knew it. It’s the first of what I am sure will be many times in the school process where he was told simply who he was, wasn’t cool. And that’s a shock because, duh, we think he is the coolest in the land, ever. It was heartbreaking but a rite of passage, I guess my job is to build him up so he is okay being himself even if others don’t think it’s cool. This only made me feel stronger that we made the right choice last year pulling him out of pre-k and having him in with the 4’s. He is READY for pre-k this year, but not Kindergarten. Next year, he will be more than ready.
This year, he barely gave me an over the shoulder wave as he headed into his classroom. Already busy chatting to his friends and wondering what fun was ahead that day.
Bittersweet, yes. But sweet nonetheless. And definitely not a baby. Enjoy the ride, Boss.