How do you Feel About the new School Year?

Ironing dress shirts and packing lunches aren’t this columnist’s favorite things, but a regular routine is looking pretty good right about now.

Many parents are singing praises and thanking the heavens that school has begun this week.

“I can’t WAIT to send the kids back!” I’ve been hearing. “This was the longest, hottest summer EVER!”

But, this time of year is always bittersweet for me.

My husband is a teacher, so he, along with my two sons, head back to the classroom for another year of homework, tests and interesting school stories.

I go back to my routine of packing snacks and lunches, checking homework and rushing around in the morning to make sure everyone has their library books and art smocks.

I always look back at our summer thinking, “Where did it go?!” But seldom do I have regrets.

We pack every summer as tightly as we can, kicking things off with our annual garage sale . Our goal each year is to skip town as soon as school is over and get a change of scenery for a while. It's such an exciting time of the year!

This year we took a cross-country road trip to Montana and the Canadian Rockies filling our minds with beautiful memories.

When we return from our annual Holtzhafer , summers are filled with pool time, , backyard BBQs and daytrips around the area.

We also reserve 10 days each summer , Robert, and the other New York City children who visit through the Fresh Air Fund each year. It’s such an amazing time for all of us.

I think that’s what life is about. Squeezing as much as we can into the time we have. Living life to the fullest!

We treasure each day we have together. We love having Robert stay with us and are sad to watch him leave. But we know that every summer we will get this opportunity again and again.

Now the new school year is upon us, and I’m happy to say goodbye to summer and get back to a regular schedule.

I’m sad that my boys will be gone all day. I’m sad that I have to iron dress shirts and pack lunches every day. I’m sad I can’t sleep past 7 a.m. on weekdays.

But I’m happy that I can help in a classroom and watch the kids learn and grow for another school year. I’m happy that we have all of the holiday events to look forward to. I’m happy that it’s going to finally COOL OFF!

It’s a season of change and progress. And for that I’m ready! Summer 2012, you’ve been good to us. But it’s time to get back to reality.

Anonymous August 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I wish we had more family time together. Fall sports practices takes the summer away too early. I really wish that all the schools would agree to just start the day after Labor day, and then sports practices not start until Aug 20th. Families are way too busy. We need things to slow down a bit more so that we can enjoy each other. My prayer is that all families can scale back their material things so that they could have one parent (either mom or dad) home to manage the household and care for all the important things that make like special. Nobody ever looks back on their life and says, "I wish that I would not have spent so much time with my kids." I think most people look back on their life and say that they wish that had been courageous enough to take a chance, do without the eating out and fluff (cell phone plans, cable) and spent more time with the children. Time is more valuable than ANYTHING you can buy at the store. It is better to eat PBJ and be with your kids, than have a fancy meal out and need to work more to cover it. I pray that I can take my own advise and avoid the pressure to spend like everyone else. Years ago most families were a 1 car family, no cable, no cell phone...they existed better than we do now. We should be spending MORE time with our kids in 2012, but are we...or are we preoccupied with facebook, email etc...ask yourself WHY are you happy they are back at school. Are they really that much of a bother to you? You can bet they know how you fell.
Jenae Holtzhafer August 29, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Great comment, Anonymous. It's so true. We've been blessed to have found ways that I can work from home for the past 11 years and still make it work. My husband switched careers from a very profitable one to being a teacher. He knew he wanted more time with our growing family even if it meant less money. It has been life-changing. I wish everyone could see how possible it is! It's truly about making personal sacrifices and being wise with your spending. There are so many ways to cut back. And thanks for the reminder about cutting cable. It's been on my list, but now that things have settled down I'm doing it! We've cut out TV watching in our house by 90% this summer. It's been incredible. The kids are more creative and we have so much more reason to spend family time together. This time goes way too fast. Let's keep reminding each other of that so we continue to cherish it.
Britney Haynes August 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
cant wait for Parkland to initiate uniforms for all students
Lower Mac Resident August 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I've got mixed feelings about school starting. On one hand I'm excited because our routine can become normal again, my husband won't have odd sleeping days to rush the kids to the pool because it's hot and I won't be sitting at work hoping the kids are not bored at home or wondering if they finished their household chores. On the other hand, it's a ton of anxiety for my youngest who just started 6th grade. We are walking on egg shells trying not to say anything that will bring on tears or make her nervous, keeping with the simple "how was your day" questions without prying to much. I'm glad I'm not in school now, because I know how much I disliked it as a kid and how my husband had such anxieties over it, it's very evident in our youngest, and then our oldest, well, he is just mad..he very much dislikes the fact that he had to go to school one week early and every one of his cousins is still at the pool swimming. It's been an interesting week to say the least. I'm hoping and praying that after this long weekend all of the fears will be gone and normalcy will return.


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