Another calendar page has been flipped, turning July into August. I think there has been a part of me that has been positively dreading the month of August. Never mind all the nice things that may occur in it, I have grimaced and cringed every time the mere name of it has been mentioned in my hearing. And now it is here. Time to face the music. Or rather, the tolling of the school bell.
The first order of business to attend to has been to show the girls when they'll be starting school. They awake each morning with the same greeting ready on their lips: "We're not going to school today are we?" No matter how much enthusiasm I muster for it, I can't seem to get them past this particular hurdle. So on August 1st, we marched down to the kitchen and did the ceremonial "Flipping Of The Calendar Page" ritual that ushers in each month at our house. We sit down at the table, look at the month gone by and talk about what fun things we have done, events, visits, vacations, and the like. THEN we flip the page and stare at the blank month ahead; little boxes just waiting to be filled with activities. Endless possibilities waiting to be realized. We always begin by learning the name of the new month, and spelling it, then we count how many days it has. Once that is done, I point out important dates or holidays that will happen. For August, that big date is the 23. The first day of school. We put a circle around it and marked it with a smiley face, then stood back to look at it. Amidst all the the blank boxes, it stood out. Plain as day. No denying it now. It's on the calendar, demanding recognition. I. Am. Here.
Normally life picks up again after a Flipping Of The Calendar Ceremony. You just move on. Back to playing. Back to cleaning. Whatever. Waiting for the next month to sidle itself right in. Not so with August; it's been different. There is a definite sense of counting down that comes with this month, for us and I'm sure for parents of schoolagers everywhere. And I'm nervous. And the girls are nervous.
I am pleased to announce that I've come around a lot since my initial entries of First Day Terror. You'll be pleased to read that I no longer abhor the very thought of sending them to school, no longer shudder at the site of the building, or tear up when walking down school supply aisles. In fact, since Safety Town gave me the glimpse at my future of a daily 2 1/2 hour break, I've been pretty peppy and upbeat about the whole thing, actually. During the one lovely week, I was able to envision all of the things I'd finally be able to accomplish, like, reading for fun...er.....I mean, cleaning and keeping up with housework, of course.
And most of all, there is a sense of wonderment that I'll be able to walk through a whole store without saying, "No. Don't touch that. Please Leave That Alone, or Do you have to pee?" What will that be like? Truth be told, after 5 1/2 years of struggling through stores in a parade of phases, I'm not sure how to approach this new one. First I was the lady pushing the double stroller with my left hand while pulling the car behind me. Next I was the lady with two toddlers (each on a leash) running in front of me while I pulled a cart behind me, constantly getting it caught in the lines of the leashes. After that I morphed into the frazzled looking mom trying to catch one or both children as they ran away from me, often times leaving the cart aisles away from where I was, leaving me to have to find it again when I'd collected both giggling girls. (After a few too many of those episodes, I regressed back to the lady with the double stroller and cart phase, with the only difference being that my once happy twins were replaced with screaming ones). And at last, I've become the lady with a cart in front of me and two little ladies strolling beside me, only occasionally make mischief in the produce aisle. Progress is a beautiful thing.
And now I'll be the lady with the cart. Period. Wow. A normal shopper. What will that be like? Can I do it? Will I like it? Time will tell on all of it, I guess. But here's to hoping for many happy (and calm) shopping trips. Here's to hoping that the girls do well in their classroom and enjoy their days there. (Here's to hoping they remember our motto Make Healthy Choices So We Don't Get Sick). And here's to looking ahead for the next Flipping Of The Calendar Ceremony we'll share on September 1st; for all the good memories will remember for August, and all the exciting, upcoming things we'll have to look forward to in the months ahead.