Can I let you in on a little secret? Back to school has always been a little bit like Christmas morning for me. Sure, I absolutely adore my kids and we have summers filled to the brim with fun adventures, but by mid-August it’s like a flip switches and I’m just plain burnt out and ready to get back into the swing of a routine. It’s about the little luxuries, like being able to take a shower without a child barging in, begging for the password to the iPad when you’ve already told them “No!” twelve times. It’s catching up on the monstrous pile of unfinished work because a friend’s pool, or the beach or the park seemed more important to savor than my to do list. It’s drinking a cup of coffee in silence. Every year I hear other moms talking about back to school and every year there are parents who are legitimately sad about the same event triggering my happy dance. I have called them out in my head. I have discussed this phenomenon with like-minded “Bad Moms.” (Side note: You must go see the movie if you haven’t.) “They’ve got to be lying! Doesn’t everyone get sick of their kids?”
But then back to school happened today. And it felt different. There was a shift – a pull in my heart. And while I am ready to get back into my work without constant interruptions, I missed them. I read an article that went viral over the summer about how we have only 18 summers with our children. Reading it hit me like a ton of bricks. My daughter is 10 now, which means that I’m more than half way through them. She’s on that brink of tween-hood, where everything is changing a mile a minute. This may be the last summer that she would rather hang out with me than with anyone else in the world. This may be the last summer that my 7 year old son takes my hand as we walk on the beach. What if next year, instead of smothering me with 20 hugs and kisses at drop off, the first day of school kicks off with nothing more than a wave and a “Bye?”
From the moment my kids were born, people were telling me that they would grow up in a flash.
And the truth is, they are.
As a tradition, each year I ask the kids to answer a series of interview questions on their first day of school. It’s fun to look back at how theirs answers change (and stay the same!) over the years. One of those questions is, “If you had one wish, what would it be?”
If they were to turn the questions on me, my answer would be a no-brainer. I’d freeze them just as they are now.
(Minus the Pokemon Go obsession. That can go away any time now). 😉
May you always stay true to your spirit and dance with reckless abandon. This is my wish for you.
Go forth and learn. Go forth and grow. Be kind. Stay true, kiddoes.
Before school lets out and my house is full of chaos once again, I better go grab that silent cup of coffee I’ve been looking forward to all summer. Though I may need a side of tissues to go with it.
Kami Friday is a lifestyle and portrait photographer specializing in the photography of families, children, babies, newborns, high school seniors and maternity. She lives in Nashua NH and services clients throughout Southern NH, Northern MA, and the Greater Boston area. For more information about Nashua NH back to school portraits or to schedule a fall session of your own, please contact Kami Friday.
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