In the Christmas song, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas," there is a line that says, "...and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again."
I never liked that line. I was first annoyed by it in my early, rabid homeschooling days when I thought no kid should have to go to the evil, government schools. I imagined these poor little kids being sent off by cruel parents who didn't want them around.
Then, a few years ago, there was that T.V. ad (Staples, I think) where parents are singing the song while buying school supplies, looking forward to the day their kids go back to school in the fall.
"How sad!" I used to say. "How wrong!" "How unjust!" Those poor, little, unloved kids!
Then I sent my own kids to public school – the thing so many homeschooling parents say they will never do. I crossed over to the dark side and in the process, found that there really ARE two camps of homeschoolers... those who will stand with you no matter what you do... and those who will stand in judgment.
But I digress.
When my kids were homeschooled, we had a very definite schedule which included school time, chores, errands, and everything else. Now that they are gone all day, everything is different. What that means is, I have to clean the house and shovel snow all by myself, unless I am fortunate enough for them to get a snow day (yay!) or have a snowstorm on a weekend.
This most recent Christmas vacation, which was much too short, in my opinion, was our first since my kids started going to "real school." When we were homeschooling, other than doing school work, we pretty much kept on schedule during Christmas break. This time, however, my kids were suddenly on a vacation from doing anything at all. They slept, they ate, they played, and they made a mess. It was the toddler years all over again! But bigger messes! And they eat more now!
A couple of days after Christmas, I was flipping through the Christmas song list on my ipod and heard "It's beginning to Look a lot like Christmas." This time, when the line came I actually sang along...
"...AND MOM AND DAD CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR SCHOOL TO START AGAIN!"
Yes, I sang it loudly. I sang it with gusto. I sang it with a smile. I truly have crossed over to the dark side.
But of course, I rationalized it. I needed order. I needed to be back on a schedule – and so did they.
So on Monday, they went back to school and I started getting the house back in order.
On Tuesday, I missed them, but enjoyed the concept of having a clean kitchen once again.
On Tuesday evening, I helped them with their homework until late into the night, and I once again lamented the whole concept of homework.
Later Tuesday night, I heard about an impending ice storm and I secretly prayed that school would be cancelled the next day.
Today, Wednesday, miracle of miracles, a snow day has been called.
May the force be with you.
Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes