Rushville Republican

August 31, 2012

Back to school melancholy

Jean Mauzy
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Bright yellow-orange school busses rolling along the roadways let us know another summer season is ending. Before we know it, warm-weather attire will be replaced with clothing items designed to repel the cooler forces of nature. Flower gardens are already showing signs of the upcoming seasonal change. Summer's end is somewhat of a melancholy time of year.

It's never an easy transition to move from the lazy days of summer to the hustle and bustle of preparing the kids for another educational journey. The difficulty is more than simply jumping back into an early morning routine with children. The quiet stillness that falls upon the house when the kids leave for school is something of its own to adjust to. Similarities exist whether kids are leaving for college of simply entering another year of elementary/secondary school education. For at least a portion of the day, hustling-bustling activity in the home subsides.

As parents, we must send our kids out into the world to grow and to learn. When heading for college, we hope they are safe and take good care of themselves while not under our watchful eye. When heading out onto the school bus or driving to the high school, we hope the same. Especially when children are very young, it can be a little unsettling to put trust into others to watch over our kids as well as we, as parents, would do. We just hope for the best and things usually work out just fine.

Being a parent with a wide age-range of children, one would think I would be used to it all by now, but I'm not. When my two oldest children completed college-campus living, the reality of them not living "here" with me anymore hit hard. While still in college, it could feel like they still lived with me because they would be home for holidays and such. However, when they graduate, you know they are moving on. I recently told my son I went through a bit of empty nest sadness when he moved out of his campus apartment. From his view he thought it shouldn't be so bad because he had already technically been gone for four years. But from my view, there was finality to it. It's different.

Practice does not make it any easier. My children in high school are just a short time away from entering the college life and going off on their won. My youngest may have quite a few years of local schooling left, but I know the time will eventually come and they too, will be out the door. Time goes fast, sometimes too fast if we are not careful. Enjoying the here and now and not wishing for time to pass is essential. As another school year begins these thoughts come to mind.

I write from the view of mom who has the advantage of working from home and so I am in fine-tune with the melancholy of summer's end. I do adjust though and then I feel fine with the fact that I can more easily complete my work during the quiet of the day. And before I know it, sporting and other school events bring a lot of the hustle and bustle back into my life. It's simply moved from day time to after school hours. A new routine in born or better said, recycled, since I have been here before.

Raising kids is like the changing of the seasons. It's a continuous circle of change and familiarity all at the same time.

I'll end by sending best wishes for a successful and safe school year for all local students and their parents.