August 11, 1999

Back to school blues and hallelujahs
Sing along if you know the tune:

I got two whiny kids on my back (picture a guitar strum here--da dum)
They're bored, they're hot, they don't want to do anything (da dum)
The house is a mess (da dum)
I must confess (da dum)
I got those big ol' back-to-school-bluuuueessss.

___Actually, I'm going to miss having the
boys under my feet all day (occasionally). Getting back to the school grind isn't going to be easy, particularly in the morning. Neither the boys nor I are morning people, so it will be hard to get them (and myself) back to an earlier routine.
___Trying to work this summer at home has not been productive. Just when I get them settled in an activity and start working on the computer, they are at each other over something and I have to settle the dispute before they kill each other. It's funny how they are fine when I'm doing housework, but can't contain themselves when I'm working on the computer.
___Every time I mention those dreaded words "back to school" to the boys (trying to suppress the big grin trying to break forth) they moan and groan. We must be out of first grade. They couldn't wait for kindergarten and first grade to begin.
___Even buying new backpacks hasn't reconciled them to the end of summer vacation. I used to love buying new school supplies. The new notebooks, pencils and crayons take the sting out of the end of summer vacation blues.
___And oh, how blue I am that school is almost here.

___The only reason Alison is blue over school starting back next week is because she's blue in the face from trying to rein in two boys who have spent the last 10 weeks forgetting every bit of discipline they knew in May.
___Of course, the tables have turned for me at this juncture. In May, I was wishing I were a kid again and could soak in another blissful summer of leisure. The older I get, the more I romanticize what those happy
summers of youth were like.
___But even to a work-through-the-summer dad, it's apparent that summer vacation doesn't last as long as it used to. Or maybe we just attempt to pack more into a few summer weeks than our parents did.
___Although, there's got to be some truth to this feeling that summer break is getting shorter. It's hard to feel like summer's really over when it's 105 degrees outside.
___We'll know the end really is near, however, when Friday rolls around. That's the day our neighborhood school posts the long-awaited class assignments for the new year, which begins next Monday. One parent described the scene that will play out Friday like this: "They wait until the end of the day, then quickly post the class lists on the window and run out of the building and lock the doors before the parents swarm the building."
___Sort of makes me wonder what we parents have found to do all summer, without needing to negotiate the best place for our children at the school and all. That's not even mentioning the help with homework and the constant need to nudge our little learners to complete all their assignments and special projects.
___As fun as the summer break can be, the back-to-school season reminds me it's only through persistent study and discipline that any of us learn and grow. And the same is true for our spiritual development. Perhaps that's why churches all across Texas will be launching new classes and programs in the coming weeks.
___In the natural cycle our of society, we know it's time to hit the books again. May this serve as a reminder to us all that it's also a good time to reopen the Good Book as well.

___He Said/She Said is a new regular feature of the Baptist Standard's on-line edition. Mark Wingfield is managing editor of the Standard. Alison Wingfield is a freelance writer. The Wingfields moved to Texas in January from Louisville, Ky., where Mark had been editor of the Western Recorder, in which this column appeared weekly.

PREVIOUS COLUMNS: 6/16, 6/23, 6/30, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4.


Contents/ Masthead / Why We're Here / Links / Archive / E-mail us/ SUBSCRIBE!