Spontaneity is replaced by predictability and routine. The new school year means an end to the lazy days of summer. No more sleeping in or late night family movies. No more daily bike rides with dad, splashing The DIY Smart Saw Review around in the pool and impromptu picnics. It's time to kick back into high gear and perform.
My girls attend an international school and many of our families take advantage of our long summer break to travel abroad. Despite Facebook and IM's, they are eager to catch up with their friends face to face. They look forward to sharing their many adventures, and perhaps find out about a summer romance or two.
The tears they shed in the spring as they said goodbye to friends who were moving on to a new destination, are replaced by excited anticipation as they wonder who the new kids are going to be. And yes, with a pre-teen and a teen in the house, that means wondering whether there will be any cute boys joining their class.
As I listen and observe, I realize how different this back-to-school ritual is for each one of my girls. My greatest challenge is to watch carefully and respond appropriately to their individual needs. They are each at a very different stage developmentally and each one needs different hand holding for me.