I guess I should be looking forward to next week.
After all, the kids are going back to school.
Everyone at my house seems to be ready for it.
Even the weather is cooperating.
As if on cue, it’s been cooling off. So much so, that instead of arriving back home dripping in sweat from her daily bicycle ride one morning this week, my wife complained that her fingers nearly froze to the handlebars.
But she’s not the one who offered the surest sign yet that our routine is in for a shake up. Our 15-year-old son did that. He seemed to acknowledged his readiness after we attended his school orientation this week.
When I asked, he shrugged. Then he said “maybe” and went back to whatever it is that he does on his phone. For our laid-back kid, that means he’s excited.
At least, I think it does. In any case, I have misgivings about this time of year.
On one hand, school is a good and necessary thing, especially if I ever want to see our kids move out to start lives of their own.
And, since I’m home a lot during the day because I work odd hours, school means a few hours of freedom. My wife will say that’s code for more nap time. I do not deny it.
Then there’s the TV.
For several hours each day, I will no longer have to compete with my daughter. So instead of repeats of “Phineas and Ferb” and “Jessie” every morning, I will soon be able to catch back up with the guys of “Pawn Stars” and see who will emerge as the “Inkmaster,” one of those so-called reality shows that’s got me thinking of getting a tattoo.
I mention it because it reminds me of another reason I should be looking forward to the start of the school year.
Since the kids won’t be around and my wife will be at work during the day, I will no longer have to hide in the bathroom researching ideas on my iPhone.
There are more positives to school starting but I have to own up to the negatives. Having my kids around every day is the big one. I’m going to miss hanging out with them. I’ll particularly miss the free labor they provide.
For example, cutting the lawn is our son’s responsibility.
It was, anyway.
I might be able to get him to cut the yard one last time this weekend before he’s consumed by his studies, not to mention marching band. But after that, it will be up to me to close out the season and put the lawn mower to bed when the grass stops growing.
The fact is, starting Monday it will soon be just me, our ornery cat Skitty and our giant dog Rodney at home for much of the day.
That’s not so bad. As long as I keep Skitty’s stomach full, she keeps her claws in check. And, Rodney is a smart dog. He sits on command and as long as there are no squirrels around, he comes when called.
But unless he starts walking upright this fall I don’t think he’ll be capable of cutting the lawn for me. Then again, now that the kids are heading back to the classroom, maybe I’ll have time to train him to nudge the mower along with his nose.