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The Kids Are Back in School

This is the week...that they go back.

There’s an electricity in the air. Can you feel it?

It’s a sense of anticipation, wide-eyed wonder and happiness that is usually only felt around the Holiday season. But here too, in September, is a similar feeling of joy and jubilee, marked by an enormous collective sigh that signifies this time of year.

This is that time. This is the week… that they go back.

If you’re a parent, that statement needs no explanation. For the uninitiated, what I’m saying is that it’s time for another school year to begin. You’ll know who the parents are when you see them on the street this week; we’re the ones with an extra spring in our step, a finally-unfurrowed brow, and a ready smile that only comes when one is finally able to hear one's thoughts without interruption again. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself. Go up to a parent and say, “So, the kids are back in school this week?” and wait for the inevitable smile. We just can’t help it; it’s an automatic reaction. We may even giggle.

Please don’t get me wrong—it’s not that we don’t love our kids; of course we love our kids. I especially enjoy our “quality time” together. It’s those other times, those “really something less than quality” times, that I might do without.

Truthfully kids, it’s not you—it’s us. After this long, hot summer together, I think it’s time we started seeing other people.

I just feel like we both need more; you need to learn algebra and biology, and I need a day without Bakugan.

(And, just as a side note—don’tcha, just once, want to hear them say “Bakugan – Sit!  Bakugan – Roll Over!  Bakugan – Play Dead!”  For those of you not familiar with the show, I pretty much synopsized season one for you right there. You don’t need to give it another moments thought. You’re welcome.) 

You need time spent with your peers and we parents need time spent with, well, pretty much anyone above voting age. You kids require knowledge and mentoring and, while your mother and I are founts of wisdom, we feel the need to pass you on to other wise teachers that will guide you, and shape you… and free up our schedules from 8:30 to 3:30.

To be fair, though, we had some really good times together, as we do every summer. A highlight of this summer (and a departure from Bakugan) was my daughters’ discovery of I Love Lucy. My wife (a long-time Lucille Ball fan) introduced our girls to Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel—and they took to it faster than you can say Vitameatavegamin.” Much like my own childhood home, our house now echoes with the sounds of those long beloved episodes (the chocolate wrapping assembly line being an instant favorite). We even had the good fortune of visiting the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz museum in Lucy’s hometown of Jamestown, NY. On one of the displays was a letter from Lucy’s old friend, Carol Burnett. It was a letter filled with love and respect for her friend, mentor and teacher, Lucy.

As we leave this summer behind us, and look forward to the year of learning ahead, I think it’s appropriate to end this article with the song that Carol Burnett used to sing at the end of her show.

Sing along with me:

I’m so glad we had this time together,

Just to have a laugh and sing a song,

Seems we just get started, then before you know it,

Comes the time we have to say… so long.

So long, kids. We’ll see you after school.

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