With holidays over, and all vacation spent. It’s back to work, and back to school.
I notice as that time approaches, even though I’m still hanging at home, kicking back, taking a stab at the honeydo list and whatever, that a thick and darkening cloud begins to form overhead. Like a gathering storm. And then the night before you go back, you have that George Clooney moment – at the helm riding straight up that enormous wave in The Perfect Storm – a real “this ain’t gonna be pretty” moment.
It happens with the kids going back to school too. They got their gifts, played with most of them, slept longer than usual, stayed up later than permissable, and maybe even played with friends. But then, like me and my George Clooney moment, it’s time for Gus to get up early, get to the bus stop and oh, the dreaded homework! Our school district is implementing a program to ensure kids can’t sneak out of doing their homework. Miss three assignments? Stay after school as many days as it takes to “git ‘er done.” Don’t show up after school? Saturday detention. That new rule went over really well with Gus. So not only are we nasty parents on his case with appropriate discipline, but now the entire school district is getting in the act. Happy New Year! Must be a conspiracy.
So, when time came Monday to get up and out to the bus stop, it was UGG-LY. I watched out the window (because I was still riding up that big ol’ wave myself) and realized Gus was not alone – it’s a universal feeling, that George Clooney moment.
All the kids in the neighborhood shuffled down the street, heads down, coats hanging open despite freezing temperatures, backpacks being dragged rather than worn. It looked something like a college campus the morning after a frat party – but a lot less throwing up. No, I’d have to say it more resembled a bad zombie movie where they scour the neighborhood looking for brains. You could tell the kids were all half asleep, hoping for some gray matter to kick in before the day ended. Chances are, the teachers were thinking the same thing.
It’s been a few days now, and we’re back in the usual routine. George Clooney had his moment but didn’t really drown, the Zombies found brains, and Happy New Year, homework is getting done.