Playing Hooky

Playing Hooky

This time of year is always weird. For many, kids are back to school. This can mean all kinds of different things –new friends, malls, new clothes, dinner in less than 15 minutes…..  New beginnings and endings, hellos and farewells. The kids are 1 year older, and you feel that passage of time. Sometimes you wish for just one more week of summer and a second later, you’re counting the days until that bus comes bounding down the road. It’s back to business and there’s less room for spontaneous fun.

With busyness, comes worries: will the kids love their new teacher, want to join band, struggle with math?  Will they be in the same class as their best friend? What happens when they are not? Is that better―offering new opportunities to branch out―or the first of many heart breaks?

As a parent, you get to manage all of this. All children face change. Even if they go back to school at home―new subjects, new experiences, new challenges. They are not the only ones being tested―we are too.  Watching your kids navigate their lives can be a constant marvel and puzzle, and your life changes right along with them. Whether you work at home, an office, travel, your life includes theirs. No matter how organized you are, it is a monumental task with guaranteed slip ups. I sort of make peace with climbing onto the hamster wheel and sprinting just to keep up.

Getting back to that weird back-to-school feeling―heart in your throat mixed with nervous excitement…  Everyone adapts quickly. The kids get into their new routines, new friends and subjects. You pack everyone’s schedule with gymnastics classes, football practice and piano lessons.  Your car is constantly in motion, filled with water bottles and cracker crumbs.

And suddenly there will be that random day when you just don’t want to go anywhere. All you want is one of those amazing summer days when you can play for hours with the kids. Be lazy in the morning, come up with outrageous plans for the day, have fun. What I’ve found―when I feel like that―my kids do too. Call it a mental health day, calling in sick, personal time, but we call it hooky.

Hooky is one of the few days out of the entire year that my kids remember―right up there with Halloween and Christmas.  It’s a time to recognize that all the new, challenging, stressful parts of our lives can and will wait for one more day, while we remember the things that make us truly happy.

Be Happy. Play hooky!


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