“I’m bored.”

About 1 week into the summer break I am already fed up of these two words from my two children. They don’t exactly appreciate my response of “it’s good to be bored”. I am a true believer that children do not need to be stimulated every minute of every day and sometimes it is good for them to be left to their own devices of imagination and creativity to occupy themselves.

But to them, this is pure torture.

This is why I crave the structure of the school year. I look forward to having my children learning, with peers their age, in daily activities that I know will excite them and occupy them. I don’t mind homework either, at their ages of 6 and 9 has mostly involved reading and simple math. After school is spent together at the table, while I finish my paperwork I help them with whatever they need. Then they run off and play together because they haven’t spent all day together as they do in the summer and are less likely to fight. They are more tired during the school year and go to bed earlier because we wake up earlier, which also leaves me a little more free time at night as well.

However there is also some anxiety involved. Sadly I now have to fear if my children will be safe in school. This summer I was getting ready to leave the house and I went from room to room turning the lights off as I normally do. My daughter innocently stated, “You’re doing that so people know we aren’t home right?” to which I replied, “No it’s mostly to save energy because we won’t be here”.

“Oh” she said, “because in school we shut off all the lights so the bad guys think we aren’t in the room”. That right there was a punch in the gut. I didn’t even know what to say. I wanted to hold her. I wanted to cry. Why does my six year old even have to think these things? It didn’t seem fair at all. But that’s exactly what she has to think about, what both of my children have to think about. They have always had active shooter drills and every time I receive an email that they are going to happen, the pit in my stomach shows up. I don’t think it will be any easier this year. So in that regard, some days I wish I could keep my babies close to me.

This year our routines will be slightly different as I will now be working from home and will no longer be utilizing the before and after school program thus shortening their time inside of the school. We also purchased them watches from which they can call us or their grandparents at any time, and we can also track their whereabouts. This gives me a little peace of mind as I will have a way to communicate with them in an emergency…as long as I can get my six year old to understand that sending me 10 selfies is not an emergency!

I look forward to watching them grow and expand their minds again this year, for each year I am amazed at how much their little minds can retain. I am so proud to be their mother even though they think I am the she-devil for making them do homework and clean up after themselves. All-in-all I am thankful for every day that I have happy and healthy children, and they are happy and thankful for the days that I am too lazy and they find lunchables in their lunch boxes.