Photo by graur razvan ionutI was just getting used to summer when I realized that it's nearly over. Suddenly my mailbox is flooded with notices from the school. Pick up this! Pay for that! Practice now! And I face the undeniable reality.
I don't want school to start.
This has been a wonderful summer (knock on wood). Junior has been with friends, yet around me a lot. It's been perfect. Okay, I have been teaching him to drive, but seriously that's about the only icky thing that's happened.
I don't want to go back to the real world. I don't want to take him for his uniform fittings and practices and buy yearbooks and get his physical taken and his teeth cleaned.
But mostly I don't want him to be a sophomore in high school.
He's my only baby. I mean, other than the dogs...and possibly the husband. But Junior is the only one who still needs me. He needs me to teach him how to make a right turn when there is a police officer behind you and you are scared to death you will make a California Stop.
He needs me to be the final judge when his t-shirts could fall into either the "medium" or "dark" category for when he does his laundry. He needs me to explain for the millionth time that he has to wear socks with his shoes or he stinks to high heaven.
He needs me to translate "girl speak." He needs me to take him to the bank so he can check his balance for the umpteenth time to make sure he's on track with saving for his first car. He needs me to warn him that no amount of money saved from his allowance will be enough to purchase a 2011 Camaro.
But pretty soon, he won't need me.
There are already signs here and there. His new ATM card. The online access to his bank account. The way he stays out late with his friends or goes to see the newest movie with them, instead of me. The way I don't need to remind him when tennis practice is, he just gets up and is ready to go.
The way he's pretty much an independent young man already.
Of course, some days he's a typical teenager, mouthy, obnoxious, and critical of my clothing choices (hello - my sweats match, what more does he want). And on those days I am thankful that he's growing up, because when he makes me crazy the only thing that saves him is the knowledge that someday he'll be an adult, living on his own.
But on other days, I don't want summer to end.
Laurie Sontag is a parenting guru who is navigating the wild waters of her son's teenage years by hiding in her closet waiting for puberty to be over. You can read more of her work at her blog, Manic Motherhood, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.