I’ve waited for this day — the first day of school — for weeks.
“It’s time for school to start,” I’d tell anyone even remotely interested.
I wanted my mornings back. I wanted my writing time, my cleaning time, my cooking time, my working time to be, once again, unencumbered of the one we call “The Grand Inquisitor.” I longed to enjoy a cup of coffee, alone with my thoughts, without having to rise at 4 a.m.
And now, here I am; it’s the first day of school. I’ve once again got my life to myself for a big chunk of the day and I’m feeling just a little bit lonesome.
My summer buddy is gone, vanishing this morning just as abruptly as our steamy temperatures.
I got my wish.
No one’s luring me away from my work, beckoning me to the couch, saying “You know you want some mother-son cartoon time.”
No one’s subjecting me to a never-ending barrage of questions about whatever is rattling around in his head, so many questions that I would jokingly say “Stop! You’re making my brain hurt.”
No one’s making me laugh.
The only sound at the moment is the rise and fall of the voices on the radio. The dog is lying across the back of the couch in front of the living room window, waiting for the return of his young master.
I’ve emptied and reloaded the dishwasher. I’ve answered my email and finished my paid writing job for the day. I’ve checked Facebook and synched my mobile devices; I’ve talked on the phone and thought about next week’s season finale of “The Closer.” (Will Brenda’s amusing lawyer get her off the civil lawsuit hook over the Shootin’ Newton case?) I am going to take a long, quiet shower.
In five hours, The Grand Inquisitor will be home, hopefully full of stories of the first day of seventh grade, certainly ravenous for the snack that will be awaiting him.
Perhaps it’s a little more than the first day of school that’s got me tripping down Melancholia Lane.
Though I am happy for the return of the routine of the school year and productivity on my part, there’s this little voice inside my head reminding me that next summer my son becomes a teenager. That little voice is preparing me for the reality that the summer I’ve been wishing to end might very well have been the last in which my kid would cajole me into wiling away time with a healthy dose of cartoons.
The start of the school year, it seems, holds lessons for us all.