No, not Christmas... (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa)... the First Day of School!! Most of us working Mommies understand the beauty of sending those freshly scrubbed faces off to school after a long summer of late nights, long days and necessary disorganization. Of course I cherish every moment I have with my little people. And I miss them when I am working long hours, thinking of their bright little faces as I take care of other peoples' illnesses.
What I won't miss is the overwhelming task of coordinating activities for the WHOLE DAY while I am at work. And I must admit that every summer I compile a few lists- one of all the fun things we will do as a family at the beginning of the summer, which we happily check off as the summer ticks by. The second begins to creep into my mind around mid-July, a mental wish list of all of the things I would love to accomplish but must wait until the kids go back to school. Usually organizational projects, writing, articles to read or goals I have set for myself- things that are not easily completed in the midst of running errands or to the chorus of "Mommy Mommy Mommy!"
There is also something very magical to me about the days getting shorter, the smell of crisp fall air, books and papers all lined up and ready for consumption of knowledge. Kind of like the sensation of accomplishment that comes when you arrive at the hospital early and round on your patients before most of the world is awake. Energized by discussions with other like-minded souls over freshly brewed coffee, on those days I am ready to take on the world.
Perhaps this is why the complete antithesis of this, ie: the chaos of summer vacation, can be rather overwhelming to a Type A goal-driven person like myself. I am loathe to admit this in play groups or Mom circles, for fear of seeming unappreciative of my lovely little offspring. The days of youth flee all too quickly, and I realize that this time of shuttling to soccer, ballet and play dates are short lived in the whole scheme of things. I love being able to spend time doing all of these things with my daughters, as my mother worked full time and was not present most of the rest of the time.
But my physician self, my love of knowledge self, my inner nerdy self has a little pile of books neatly piled in a corner ready for that wonderful First Day of School.