Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate NOT Having to do Back-to-School

Retro mom

10. Think of the time you can use for yourself rather than filling out ALL.THOSE.FORMS that come back after the first day! I briefly considered having a rubber stamp made with my signature on.

9.    Think of the cash that you no longer have to root for under couch cushions to include with many of those same forms.

8.     No last minute shopping in crowded malls with other angry parents (strenuously pretending to be interested) all looking for the ideal running shoe or that clutch of fine-point markers that will never be seen again after their purchase.

7.    Remember that dreaded combo of relief and anxiety that the end of summer brings? Having to get back into the routine, re-establish bedtimes and (worse) rising times in the morning? You can have an extra cup of coffee in the morning now, ahhhh …

6.   No more making lunches! No more washing out tiny containers returning home full of unsampled bad yogurt or hummus. No more replacing water bottles that leak many times throughout the year …

5.   No more feverish midnight runs to variety stores and drugstores looking for Royal Blue bristol board for science projects and feeling irrational rage that strangely, this is not a big ticket item for them.

4.  The necessity of dealing with other parents – many of whom are immensely irritating – is removed! I no longer have to listen to tales of parents who smilingly complain that their child is not getting enough sleep because he/she just doesn’t have enough time after cello practice to read as many physics books as he/she would like. Really? Really? Try not to recall Niles’ excited pronouncement that he will play new video game “till his eyes bleed …”

3.  The school related paraphernalia in my hall is no longer present! No matter how many coat hooks were installed or how many Grecian urns provided to “stow everything away” there would inevitably be a pyramid of (large) shoes, football helmets, books and inside-out coats to deal with every day. (Also, dozens of forms – now twisted into various forms of origami – that were never apparently actually returned see no. 10).

2. Carrying around the worry of other people’s schedules! I did not have an app for this – so all of the timetables, extra curricular events, school trips etc. all had to remain in my own wee head and planner. The planner optimistically provided by the school will remain empty and unsullied and be thrown out at the end of the year.

1. There is no longer any urgency in September – now, it’s just September and it’s all yours.

The Stomach Knows: Part II

ms frizzle


Fast forward to Frasier’s first day at school which was preempted by much psychological preparation including nightly readings about what that first day would entail ( I seem to recall the protagonist was a young raccoon) the purchase of a special, fancy knapsack and a lunch that included sliced grapes (no choking hazard) and sandwiches that were cut into the shape of a duck. His teacher, a kind and vivacious woman who was all flowy skirts and paisleys (think: Ms.Frizzle) actually came to the house to introduce herself over the summer and had already made quite an impression. Continue reading

The Stomach Knows Part I


I am visiting my September pasts. I am walking along our street at a lazy pace, the kind of speed which will accommodate my small son’s wish to examine every dead earwig and share a secret with every nudging, neighbourhood cat and inspect each snail shell in case ‘someone is home.’ The sun filters weak coins of light onto our backs but the first indicator that the season is changing comes from within. Specifically, my stomach. Before I even had a chance to be fully awake this morning, the open window carried to me the smell of fresh earth but with a new chilliness that was not there even yesterday and that burnt, peppery smell of leaves that are just beginning to crisp. Already a fluttering of anxiety had begun in my stomach, creeping downwards like a cold syrup, so steady that I could feel it unfurling like a flag. But really, what was actually wrong?  Continue reading