Backpacks were bought during "End of Season" clearance last year. Clothes were purchased off the summer clearance rack while on vacation in New York this summer. Lunch boxes were grabbed at Marshall's two months ago because they were three dollars each.
Yet, today when I was double checking the supply of juice boxes in the pantry and confirming that we did in fact have a years supply of napkins, it really hit me.
I like to bargain shop.
What I realized was- the kids go back to school tomorrow. My kids.
I've known it was coming. I've prepared for this moment. I've stockpiled enough glue sticks and pencils to see them through 8th grade, but now that they are both asleep on First Day of School Eve, I want to flip the calendar back to July.
In July my oldest wasn't about to enter 3rd grade and my youngest wasn't about to begin Kindergarten. Kindergarten! She's only 4! Give me back July. NOW.
As we drove to the beach early this morning I thought back on all the fun things we did this summer. We drove across country. We visited family. We saw old friends. We moved into a new house- with a trampoline! We stayed in our pajamas til dinnertime- more than once! We toured a battleship and got an aquarium membership. We rented kayaks. We visited the beach at least twice a week.
It was the kind of summer that brings a smile to your face. The type of memories that make me thankful to be a stay at home mom. The kind of mom that loves to be at the beach early enough in the morning so that she can say "Tomorrow at this time you'll be in school, but right now- you're at the beach and no one else is here!"
Let's face it. School is boring. Mommy is fun! At school you have to ask to use the bathroom. At the beach, you just squat! At school they have monitors on the playground to supervise your free time. At the beach the lifeguards aren't even on duty yet because it's so early! In fact, we're the only people in the ocean as far as I can see in either direction! Splash around! Be noisy! Flail around!
GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WATER THERE IS A SHARK BEHIND YOU.
I know that tomorrow when their new teachers ask them what they did this summer, they will forget all the educational enrichment, the family bonding time, the meals we've eaten together and the lackadaisical bedtimes.
"Our mom made us go to the beach early in the morning and she made us swim in the ocean when there were no lifeguards and a 5 foot shark came out of the water right next to us. We almost died because Mommy likes to get there before anyone steals the good seashells"