School started yesterday. Yes, it is indeed rather early, especially considering they got out at the same time as the rest of the country (mostly) in early June.
I used to think this was idiotic but as I have marked the years we live here, it makes more sense to me. See the thing is here is the desert where July and August are oppressively hot, the kids would be sitting on the couch in the AC playing video games anyways, so might as well put them in school. They get a 2 week break in October when the weather cools down a little. I am starting to think they have entirely too much time off anyways.
I mean when I was a kid we were in school from the crack of dawn til the sunset 9 1/2 months a year. And we walked to school too. Two miles, snow up to belly buttons, the wind blowing against us and up hill. Both ways even.
Today kids get picked up by their parents daily and trying to go through the red tape for them to let your child walk off the school grounds on their own two feet is like milking a bull.
Daycare with this sort of schedule is difficult too I’m sure.. maybe not like it was before parent kept their kids in daycare before and after school. But for working parents, two .weeks of in October has to be a bit stressful. Everyone’s got their schedules and by October they are just getting settled in with a fluidity to them and BAM. The kids have two weeks off.
Now as much as I can say I understand why they start in July here, there is still something inherently wrong about it.
One of the ways we mark the passage of time and plan our futures in life is by seasons. They also symbolize change but there is a rhythm and flow to that change. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Birth, Childhood, Adult, Death. Hockey, Baseball, Football. Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day. School, No School, School again.
They are predictable in their changing ways. Kind of a guideposts to where you are and where you are going without being so strict and structured. I mean there is a first day of spring but it can still snow after and the heat of summer can carry over a few days into fall but the leftovers are still buffeted by the season to come. And so it goes year after year in a comforting rhythm we can almost set our bodies and minds to.
Almost. At least until your kids start school in July and summer drags into October with 100 plus degree temps until one day, they aren’t.
School always used to start right after labor day. It was unofficially the beginning of fall. No one cared if it was still hot, we put our summer clothes away along with the white shoes and donned the fall winter garb, including shoes that were brown or black.
White shoes after Labor Dy a big no no. Big.
The school buildings and office buildings alike switched their auto thermostat systems over to heat instead of cool and you woudn;t be caught dead in a pair of shorts.
It meant football season and the leaves were starting to turn, the air had a crispness in the morning that heralded the coming of the colder winter, yet still warmed up in the afternoon, to give way again to the chill as the sun started setting earlier and nights had enough cold to put the flannel sheets on the bed,
SO cold sometimes in fact that many a kid was forced by their mother to go to the school football games with socks on with shoes that together ruled out the chance of ever looking stylish, or cool. Mostly me and just once but it stuck.
Fall is when you change out the summer potpourri and air fresheners for the spicy, squashy ones like pumpkin and vanilla nutmeg and cinnamon.
Saturday mornings were for sleeping late, hot breakfast, cartoons and maybe if you had to play soccer or something to be involved in something. and of course college football, Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions
Go ahead and say it. I dare you.
Sundays well I am kinda all mixed up about Sundays because I thought until I was about 8 they were for sleeping in, then my mom stated taking us to church.
Just a bit of unsolicited advice here, if you think you might ever take your kids to church just start as you mean to go. Then they will never get the idea that they can sleep in on Sundays, except once in a while n the summer. I feel a lot of guilt for even having the argument with myself on Sunday mornings, sleep or God? and I am pretty sure it all goes back to that. Or not.
Sunday afternoons usually meant a nap and of course NFL and that recognizable theme song.. dada da daaa. ba ba ba ..da da da da da daaaaaaa..you know which one I mean right?
Anyways, the beginning of school meant ll these things were happening and three more months until Christmas Break and Christmas, and from there 5 month a few days til another summer.
It all fell into place very nicely and the season of school starting coincided and worked together with the other important seasons, Fall and Football.
When school started, I changed the decor in my house and I love the fall smells and colors. Even in Nevada the small town we lived in before moving here was cooperative in weather, angle of the sun and they didn’t start school until at least close to labor day. Not July.
It might seem like no big deal but it really kinda is. See it is setting things all different and I feel very out of place and uncomfortable. I have to go against everything I learned about and have relied on my almost entire life, and it feels like a wedgie that is only half of one. Not enough to justify picking your butt in public to pull it out but enough to make you feel … off
Seasons aren;’t rules they just are. You aren;t supposed to mess with the working of things, That’s like messing with Mother Nature and that isn’t nice. It isn’t cool for people with mental disorders that gauge their time by the seasons either, or anyone who is season orientated really.
SOme of the things I mentioned, are seasons unto themselves within a season that have changed or been lost as well and I am near to feeling like a rudderless vessel on a flat sea with no compass to show me the way to go home. I suppose I could just blow what hot air have into my sail and find the end zone..
See? This could get ugly.
Ar this pace I will be carving pumpkins in August ready for Thanksgiving around Halloween and Christmas will be on at Thanksgiving.
Of course my kids don’t understand. In fact,their seasons run the way they are no problem because they don’t know any different, the younger ones for sure. That;s why when 8 yo wanted help picking out her clothes for school, she gave me a really weird look when I produced jeans and a long sleeve shirt with brown loafers while my Mom nodded approvingly at my choice. At least someone understands it, whether it is as uncomfortably disorienting for her as for me or not.
And really if I can get from here to fall break without meltdown, the 2 weeks off, annoying as it may be, actually helps me reset the biorythym or whatever is in charge of this thing, the problem being of course not having a meltdown in September. It happens every year.
Between them messing with the seasons of my life and the noise of the air conditioner (that my friends is another post all unto itself) , by October I have usually crashed burned and as soon as the temperatures are below 100 for 3 days in a row, recovered.
As soon as that happens it is like someone opened up a valve to release the excess pressure and all is well, in fact, when I take my kids back to school after break it seems like the first day of school, everything clicks and we are good,
Except that on Thanksgiving I am only ready for Halloween .. and so on and so forth. Which eventually will put me in the winter of my life a good 2 to 3 years later than it should happen, no wait! There is the problem of July to October, Does that cancel out any gain I make which is actually going backward not forward?
See, its just not right.
One of my favorite songs ever, Landslide talks about changes and seasons of our life….
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides, can I handle the seasons of my life?
I dunno, if its gonna be the changing seasons of my life I say it could be a tough call.
Especially with the AC on.