6 Things I’ll Miss About “Back-to-School” Season

Dear Moms of School-Aged Children: the relentless summer sun, smothering humidity, and cries of “Mom, I’m booorrrred!” will soon give way to sweater weather (yeah!), shorter days, and football games.

Are you ready??

Labor Day is almost here, which officially marks the end of summer for those of us in the U.S. and the beginning of the “back-to-school” season and returning to a regular routine.

This year will not be the same as past years for me, as our youngest graduated last spring. And while I don’t lack things to keep myself busy—work I love, volunteering, maybe training for another half marathon if I can talk myself into it, and even kids attending college who still live at home—I realized the obvious recently: this fall will be markedly different than it’s been for the past couple of decades, starting when our first child reached school age and the familiar back-to-school routines became part of the fabric of our family’s life.

If you’re caught up in the busyness of back-to-school shopping, organizing and getting everyone’s individual schedules color coded in your planner or calendar app so you don’t forget to pick up someone from soccer practice (been there, done that), you may be looking forward longingly to the stage I’m in now.

I promise not to get too broody about it, but as I look back over the years, I hope the following will remind you to enjoy the stage you’re in! Here are the things that I’ll miss dearly:

1) The routine

While ours was a homeschooling family, for years we added co-op days, outside classes, field trips, and sports to our schedule. There’s something about the familiarity of the school routine that adds bookends and touchstones to each day, whether your child is boarding the yellow school bus or settling in at the table with a pile of books to school at home—time to get up, time for learning, after school playtime or sports, homework, and bed. I’ll miss the comfort of that routine.

2) Sharing the load with great teachers and coaches

I’ll miss teachers who awaken a love for a subject that my child would never have delved into without their input. And coaches who bring out the best in my kids and teach them life lessons through discipline, tough love, and consistency.

Plus, it was sure nice to have other figures in their lives we could trust to reiterate the importance of what we were attempting to instill in our kids at home. (Teachers, we cannot thank you enough!)

3 ) The supplies

Ok, perhaps a bit frivolous, but how fun is it to shop for new binders, pens, and pencils? I love the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil. (But before I wax too nostalgic, I’m giving myself a reality check with the memory of crazy shoppers, crowded stores, and kids whining that all the “Hello Kitty” notebooks are gone.)