My kids are the ones, who just like me, look forward to the beginning of the school with much more excitement than nervousness, rather than the other way around. We all love shopping for and organizing school supplies, picking out the first day outfit, and meeting new teachers. The end of the school year, however, is a different story.
Once they start taking down the bulletin boards, it’s pretty much all over for us.
When he was in pre-K, Matthew started having semi-regular meltdowns in May. He was our first child, so we began the over-analysis of what troubles he might be having with a runny-nosed 4-year-old classmate, if he was coming down with something, if we weren’t reading to him enough, or too much, or if we were reading him the wrong books.
Check, check, check, check. Nope.
It soon passed, once school was over, so we forgot about it, until late the following spring. And sure enough, it happened again. And has happened every year since. Thankfully, as he’s gotten older, he doesn’t really melt down anymore. But we’ve recently noticed that he’s grumpy about completing homework assignments that he was once compliant and self-sufficient about, and is complaining on Sunday nights about how dreadful his weekend has been (I find that one particularly annoying when we KNOW we’ve all had a fun weekend).
And Michael, who is coming to the end of 2nd grade this year, isn’t much different, although his end-of-school blues seem to manifest with an age-appropriate hypochondria, where he periodically insists he has a fever.
Every spring, I myself am quietly a little weepy about saying goodbye to my own students at the end of the semester. And yet it took me a few years to see the pattern with my kids.
And despite the fact that the boys have vacation and a summer at a camp they love to look forward to, the weeks leading up to the end of the school year continue to be what I can only call a “strange” time for our family. Thankfully, we’re busy with end-of-year activities, planning vacation, and getting ready for camp, which seems to distract us all a little bit.
But I guess there’s still something about saying goodbye to another year, bidding farewell to teachers, and packing up the year’s art projects that still kind of gets to us.
See you in September.