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One Mom's Mixed Feelings about Back-to-School Time

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: For reasons best known by the Los Angeles Unified School District, my children have another two weeks before they sharpen their pencils and sit behind desks. I have small kids -- in fact, my younger one will be going to preschool for the first time -- and I know better than to take this precious time of having them with me for granted. So why am I so depressed this week?

school bus
Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that way. My older boy, 7, has been wandering around the house listlessly, mumbling, "I miss school." I don't think it's so, but after today's visit to the truly awesome Griffith Observatory, it feels like we have gone to every camp and tourist attraction in a 120-mile radius in the last ten weeks. Maybe we're not depressed -- maybe we're just exhausted!

Good thing we have two more weeks of unstructured time together. Fourteen more days and nights of the two boys fighting over who gets to play with the Star Wars LEGO action figure that has a lightsaber and who has to settle for building an alien out of odd, leftover LEGO pieces. Just writing that sentence depresses me. The sound of them fighting has taken on the timbre of cats in heat coughing up hairballs while fighting over a can of tuna. Why oh why must the days be so long and the years go so fast? 

I know I am not the first mother to ask this; it's just the first time I am living it. And as much as my kids' din has me rattled, the sound of silence that will clang in my ears that first morning they are both away is even more likely to level me. 

Ah, the drama of the middle class. But (as one of the many therapists I saw before I had children -- when I could still afford therapy -- would undoubtedly assure me), just because I'm not scavenging food for my babies with flies buzzing around my head and theirs doesn't mean my fears are not valid. 

That therapist would likely also suggest that suffering from "empty-nest syndrome" when you have 3-year-old and a 7-year-old might be a tad premature.


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