Bittersweet freedom

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Everywhere I go, parents are bumping knuckles and giving each other high fives. They are walking with more of a spring in their step and many even seem to have naughty little gleams in their eyes. It isn't Christmas, tax refund time or any other holiday. It's time for the kids to go back to school -- the most wonderful time of the year!

Apparently there is nothing like the joy that is felt knowing the house will be quiet again for several hours during the day and that the constant struggle to find new ways to entertain the kids will end. Sweet freedom is back.

I get caught up in much of the hoopla. I congratulate my friends on their impending peace, I listen intently to what they'll do first once the kids are back in school, and nod in agreement as most say they will take nice long naps. It all sounds so wonderful, this parental utopia, but unfortunately there will be no such Shangri-La for me just yet. I have a 2-year-old.

The idea of peace and quiet during the day is a foreign concept to me. There will be no plans of my own, no sleeping when I want and, in general, no peace. But as I trip over a puzzle piece while trying to catch my daughter, who decided she didn't want to go on the big girl potty and would rather run naked around the house, I realize that she will be gone soon enough. I further suspect that mixed in with the joy parents feel when school time rolls around are more than a few tears that nobody else sees.I think I will put off my nap for a few more years. I'm just not quite ready yet.