I have enjoyed reading my parent friends’ blogs about sending their children out into the world. But this post is not about that. This year, I’m the one going back to school.
I can’t get nostalgic about how much my baby has grown or how proud I am of the man he is becoming. Not yet; not really. And in a back-to-school post written by me, that would seem disingenuous. Afterall, it’s because of school that I’m missing the ways in which my baby is growing. Because of school that everything he does seems to happen all at once, between the convenient hours of 5 and 7pm. School is not helping Remy grow, but instead is somehow keeping me from carefully observing the growing.
Even with my conflicted feelings over going back to school as a mother, I suppose our back-to-school flurry is much like anyone else’s. There are books to be ordered, notebooks to be bought and prepared. Syllabi to print and three-hole punch. Lunches to be made and packed in brightly colored containers. Kisses to be had at the door before a long day away.
I’ve already written one love-letter-to-my-husband post this month, but I should probably just mention that Tom is also going back to school, as a University Instructor, while still being the primary caregiver for our child. The amazingness of that man never ceases to amaze me.
Thus, back-to-school is especially bittersweet for our family.
I will say, though, for all the bittersweet feelings, for all the difficulty of balancing being a mom and wife and a student and friend and everything else that I’m supposed to be — even with all of that, I love being a student. I love fresh notebooks and crisp spines. I love being reunited with friends after long summer adventures apart. I love the anxious thrill of reading through a syllabus for the first time. Like all students, especially law students, I could go without tuition bills, the socratic method, questions about my future, and long lines at the coffee shop. I suppose those are all parts of the experience – and somehow, the back-to-school allure makes it all worth it.
Theoretically, this is my last year as a student. But I’ve said that before. Twice. And even if my student days are numbered, for years – years! – into the future, Fall will still be intrinsically tied to the mystifying promise of beginning anew.