Today is my son’s last day of pre-school before Christmas Break. Thankfully, my last day of school was last Friday so I got a jump on him and was awarded four glorious days of vacation –sans child to do all those fun things like visit the dentist and the gyno. Aside from the bulk of these unpleasant tasks that are always put off until break and then suck up large chunks of the initial glory days, I simply adore school breaks. Any of them. I’ve long stayed in the education field not because I enjoy the process of developing the brilliant young minds of tomorrow, ah hells no, I'm there purely for these glorious breaks – Christmas Break, Spring Break, Summer Vacation – they make the low pay and ridiculous daily tasks – wiping boogers, stopping catfights, and worst of all dealing with helicopter parents, all worthwhile. The best thing about taking a job in a boarding school is the marvelous way in which breaks suddenly turn into multi-week events to allow students time to travel home. The joy that fills one on that last afternoon before the big dismissal is something that grows with age. If you were excited for break as a 4th grader, by the time you’re 39, you are freakin’ delirious with joy.
But this break is a bit different, as this time around, I no longer have a child who enjoys an afternoon nap or is content to play alone. No, now I have a child who is as surly as I ever dreaming of being, is incapable of going more than 30 seconds without conversation, has a hilarious dark side that is often used against me and under no circumstances will be caught snoozing the afternoon away . This break is going to hurt. Instead of a break like so very many in the past, where I lounge the days away enjoying coffee while surfing Martha Stewart episodes, sipping afternoon wine with Oprah, and catching up on sleep whilst my little devil naps, I will be involved in marathon games of Memory, countless trips around the cul-de-sac following a bike with monster-training wheels and hours of “play with me!” Yes, I realize it’s a “joyful time to remember and cherish,” though did you ever notice, those words seldom come out of the mouths of anyone in the trenches unless he or she is heavily medicated or imbibing in the good stuff?
Thank god for afternoon Moscato and my son’s love of Dr. Oz! But more than that- thank god he goes back to school a week before Mommy!