Back to School after Winter Break

“I’m mad at you,” my son said. “You’re making me go back to school.”

“I don’t want you to go back to school either. I like it much better when you are home with me.”

And it’s true. I like hearing their voices. Wondering what they are laughing about in their games. Stalling to see if they can make peace or stop their brother from crying before I head into their mess. Enjoying a surprise hug as they pass by my desk. Making “a bagel with cream cheese, two hot, sandwich-style, not cut in half” even though I know they can do it themselves.

I like when they come downstairs on their own time in the morning, still in pajama bottoms and no shirt, having processed the day in a way that starts them off happy. I like feeling needed without having to nag, race out the door, drive, scold for being late, repeat, repeat, repeat.

And I enjoy hearing the passion in their voices when they share knowledge they pursued just because they were curious… Mostly football facts, but sometimes stories and trivia about planets or Star Wars or foxes or mythology, randomly discovered and shared. Always reflective of their unique personalities and interests.

I like listening to them all practice their instruments at the same time – baritone horn, electric guitar and drums – all three relative beginners. It makes me smile.

When they are at school, I smile mostly when I think of them. I laugh at the things they said the night before. And I wish I could say to them, “I’m mad at you. You’re going back to school.”

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