A Bad Case of the Januarys

The house is quiet. It feels strange to have a quiet house. The boys are both at school this morning, and yesterday I felt quite moony about it – the end of holidays, back to the routine of drop-offs and pick-ups and layering on piles of winter clothing, back to being chilled all day long from the constant comings and goings. January. Yesterday snow fell all day long and it was difficult to tell where the snowy ground stopped and the sad grey sky started. I think I’ll paraphrase the movie Office Space and say that I have a bad case of the Januarys.

Hoo boy, I’m gloomy. First of all I was gloomy because it was the end of holidays and the start of school. Now I’m gloomy because Jake cried when I dropped him off. All morning he kept saying, in that button-pushing voice, “Moooommmm, I’m going to miiisssss you. Mooooommmm, I’m going to be sad when you leave. Mooooommmm, I don’t want to go to school.” At first I responded with that bright, cheery voice used by mothers everywhere, that I would miss him too but we would each have a GREAT morning and he would see his FRIENDS and have FUN. After several of those choruses, my bright and cheery voice evaporated in a cloud of impatience. Later, I watched him file with his classmates down the hall to his classroom, wiping away tears the whole way. I should have felt sympathetic, but I confess I felt frustrated, and somewhat guilty. Like instead of dropping him at his happy little pre-kindergarten with his teacher who sings constantly and tells everyone that they are special just the way they are, I was actually dropping him into a Victorian orphanage where they will force him to eat lumpy burned porridge and beat him for fidgeting.

There’s just no pleasing me, is there? I’m sad because the kids are going back to school and then I’m sad because they’re not thrilled to be going back to school. Well, that’s not quite true – Mark was fairly ecstatic to be back. I worried a little because he has a new teacher, but he seems to have accepted the change with zero adjustment time. “I liked Miss T.,” he said, “But Mrs. T-S will be nice too.” Huh. His relationship with change resembles his father’s. I guess Jake – and his small aptitude for accepting change – is more like me. Jake and I? We are sad when things change, we are sad when people leave, we are sad when our routine is disrupted, but eventually we make peace with it and get on with our lives.

So hopefully there will be no more tears at drop-off. Otherwise, I fear I’m going to have to use my you-don’t-know-how-lucky-you-are voice, and start telling him about Victorian orphanages and the like. And no good can come of that.


  1. Eli’s school doesn’t start again till the 19th and he is so sad that his sister gets to go to school and he doesn’t.

    I love Office Space.

  2. Only one of my kids goes to school so I have this feeling of “what are you still doing here” every once in a while!

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