The School Year has Begun

Hello friends,

School has started back up and I’ve been observing the changes this week as we’ve tried to return to something slightly resembling a routine. This week I’ve been getting up between 6:30 and 7:00 every morning as opposed to 9:00, and the difference is really interesting.

First and foremost, I’m sleepy for the first 20 or so minutes, but after that I don’t think much more about being sleepy, so I must not really be all that sleepy to begin with. I proceed with my morning Puja practice (chanting and a short Dhamma talk thanks to the Venerable Thanissaro) and am ready to start school by 8:15. Today, I’m ready before our son even wakes up, which is the only reason I suppose that I’ve had time to write this post. After starting my son in his classes (he’s in 4th grade now) I spend about an hour or so on cleanup duty; dishes, laundry, etc., just trying to keep things halfway (and I do really mean halfway) tidy.

My daughter isn’t even waking up until 9:00 or 9:30, so I often have a pretty good portion of the house chores caught up before she makes so much as a peep.

Then, as I find time to check my messages, I see posts from my friends about how they’re sad and want to cry because their kids are back to school (or just starting Kindergarten). So far, though, I’m really enjoying it. Sure, doing the classes can be stressful — sometimes Science class will demand some crazy [messy] experiment [usually involving foodstuff I’d rather not waste] and occasionally our son will just plain not be in a “learning mood,” but it seems that the whole school process gives me just the excuse to establish some kind of routine in the mornings.

That, and I’m not hesitant to say that I’m happy to watch my kids grow up. I don’t feel sad that they “grow up so fast” or anything like that. They grow up each at their own pace and the only thing that can create sadness would be my own attachment to their staying young. Why hold them back? Let them be whatever they will be today! Sometimes I think it is hard for us to watch them growing up because we know deep down that growing up brings with it a lot of stress and heartache, but we can’t protect them from it no matter how wonderful we are as parents. Whether we believe they are the result of God’s creation or a tangled mess of Kamma (or both), it doesn’t really matter because it is out of our hands now.

So good morning and welcome back to school, friends. May you and your families be well! Be happy!

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