Back to school brings a mix of emotion

There is something funny going on around here.  When I realized the extra noise in the house was my lonely footsteps echoing hollowly on the bare floor, I recognized that I wasn’t quite ready for the silence that the first day of school brings.

Since the day has started, I have thrown myself at any brainless endeavor just to keep myself busy with an attack of monotony.  This way when I am stacking the plastic bowl lids in a standing position and watching them slide down on the shelf or scraping the harden toothpaste off the faucet handle; I can do the one thing I don’t want to do…think.

Quite frankly, this is where the real trouble starts, with the quiet, comes all the thoughts racing through your mind.

You spend years protecting and providing from the minute of birth to keep the adversary of life away from your children.

Taking the gum, they found in a mall ashtray out of their mouth, breaking your nails to open child-proof doors and medicines, living without onions in any meal for a decade; only to throw them on a bus full of strangers with instruction to eat the lunch you made them.  It is then you realize the beginning of leaving the nest has started.

Will, her teacher, appreciate her uniqueness and be kind and gentle?  Will, she really eat anything you packed in her lunch?  Who are all these people she will spend seven hours a day with?

Questions that will never really be answered because if you ask your children, “What did you do today?”  You will receive a, “I dunno.”

Suddenly, they have a life away from you, full of moments that you can’t see or hear or be a part of.  It is one of those awkward, embarrassing moments like when you discovered you had lipstick on your teeth all day and realize how many people you affected by this and there is nothing you can do about it now.

You try to take small comfort in knowing they will soon be home again and you can hug them tight and stop brooding because they are back in your nest.

I always wish on the first day of school that I had been another type of woman, that I had walked another path.  You know what I mean.  If I had only had spunk, I wouldn’t have to be feeling the pain of motherhood.

Because if you were alone and no one cared you could have the tenacity and live only for adventure. I wish that I had more spunk and had more courage because today I would have been standing in the bush of Africa wearing a pith helmet.

I would whistle through my knuckles, and all the lions would come to me so that I could pet them and ride one around and never give a second thought about going to the dentist.

I wish that I had run off to Pairs and never finished school because I had a skinny nose and no hips and the world was waiting for me.

But, instead I’m in Bothell, and when I have the flu and look like bath water my family still loves me and worrying about each other has become my biggest and sweetest adventure.

The first day of school, who needs a treat more than Mom?  You might even want to share with your student.  Or maybe not!


4 egg yolks

2 cups milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl beat together the egg yolk, sugar and salt.  In a saucepan slowly heat milk to almost boiling and then add slowly the egg yolk mixture. Cook the custard, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens and forms a thin coating on a metal spoon.  Stir in the vanilla.  Pour at once into a cool bowl and stir for a minute. Pour into your favorite dessert cups and chill thoroughly.

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