Off they went on Thursday morning, my first-grader and my fourth-grader, back to school for a brand-new year. They were in good spirits, excited and just slightly nervous, ready to see their friends and teachers. They woke up early and did all their morning tasks quickly. There was a flurry of activity and then there was some time to sit and wait; it was too early to leave for school. Daddy was taking them; he drops them off on his way to work. There were hugs and kisses and last-minute reminders and instructions and then it was time to go.
I had four hours to myself, the longest stretch I've had alone since the summer began. I made beds, started some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and did a little pruning in the backyard. It was already hot outside; I was sweaty in no time. I decided to take the rest of the morning for myself. I turned on the radio and made some tea. Then I sat at the kitchen table and tried to work out one of my vintage potholder patterns (I'd ordered some #3 crochet thread last week, in the hopes that it would be easier to work with than the finer stuff). I made progress; it was easier this time.
I sat and relaxed and lost myself in my work and The John Tesh Show on the radio. The difficult summer faded away and before long, I realized that I missed those two little people an awful lot. I picked them up and brought them home for lunch and started our afternoon of homeschool. We sharpened some pencils. We organized backpacks. We dove into the new workbooks, crisp and clean. We started fresh.