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Summer’s Almost Over!

Summer’s Almost Over!

I’m sitting here, at 10:45 p.m. with my ten-year-old son, who says he can’t sleep. I reminded him that he goes back to school next week, and his bedtime will be 9:30 p.m., just like it was last year. He doesn’t seem to care. Right now, he just wants to play his video games, or computer games, or read. My vote is for reading, but apparently my vote doesn’t amount to much. Right now.

I love the “Staples” commercial—the one with the father dancing around the aisles as his two kids walk sullenly behind him. The music to the commercial is “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” I just adore that commercial, because at this point, I cannot wait to have my son back in school.

We’ve gotten his school supplies, from the list given to us in June. We added a few things, bought new school clothes and sneakers. He got his bus pass in the mail last week. Sure signs that school is coming up fast. We’re going to the shore for probably the last time on Sunday. The water temperature is up to 77 degrees, which definitely means that summer is coming to a close. It’s the only time my husband, who spent over half his life in Southern Florida, will go to the beach. We’re taking our dog, Chloe, the wonderdog, to the Dog Beach, in Ocean City, NJ. I just found out about this special puppy playland a few months ago from a friend who lives in Ocean City. Chloe seems to like the water, but her face seems to say, “why isn’t the water warmer?” when I gently nudge her closer to the water’s edge.

My son, being ten, will swim in any water, and he was born and raised for almost five years in Florida. He jumps right in. It brings back memories of me jumping in the water in Maine while my parents watched from the shore. I wanted to do the “Polar Bear Swim” last January, but we missed it. We’ll try again this year. It’s one of those things on my list to do before I die. Being single for thirty-seven years, I got a lot of the list completed. But now with a husband and son and the fact that I’m disabled, the list is a bit crumbled and worn but not used much lately. Except getting married, having a baby, and buying a house.

I think my son is actually excited to go back to school this year. He’ll be in fifth grade, which is like being a senior in high school. Fifth graders rule- they’re going to middle school after this year. They get a special school trip and graduation. I never had that. I went from sixth grade, into junior high school for two years and then four years of high school before we got a graduation. I guess graduating from 5th grade has made a comeback as an accomplishment.

I would love to go back to school: on-line, to get my BA in English or English Literature. I don’t think it would help me find a job I could do while disabled, but I obviously like to write and would love an editoring job on-line. But right now, our finances don’t allow either me or my husband to go back to school. My husband wants to get his Bachelor’s in Health Management, now that’s he’s had a managerial position in Respiratory Therapist. It would certainly be worth it and his hospital has tuition reimbursement. I could have gone back to school after receiving my AAS in Nursing, but I was busy earning certifications that led to my job as a Flight Nurse. A BSN doesn’t get you squat as a Flight Nurse- it’s your skills that count and that’s what I focused on. But I could have gone back then- I was in my early twenties, energetic and healthy. Now I’m forty-seven and not so energetic or healthy.

It’s something we’ve already talked to our son about: he will go to college and finish. Period. Neither his father nor I took advantages given to us when we were graduating high school and choosing what to do in our lives/ I dropped out of a four year program, paid for by the Veteran’s Administration because my father was disabled in combat. I went back to school three years later, after my mom had a near-fatal car accident and I got my first taste of trauma and Intensive Care. I was a very good nurse, and I miss doing it every day. I talk to my best friend, Marie, who has been an RN for twenty-eight years and has worked at the same hospital for twenty-four of them. She talks about the horrors of her day and I realize I don’t miss that part- I miss the patients. I miss taking care of sick people, of saving lives.

I hope my son finds a passion in his life to follow on through. Right now, he wants to go to the Naval Academy, or, his backup of the University of Florida, and then join the F.B.I. I guess he doesn’t want his mother to ever get a good night’s sleep again. But if that’s what he wants, I’ll do whatever I can to help him accomplish his goals. And right now, it’s making it to the bus stop by 8:45 a.m. the day after Labor Day. That’s our current goal for him. The others will be icing on the cake!

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