The fact that I’m posting this on Friday is evidence that I’m dragging my feet and trying to slow down the progression toward the first day of school. The old soul starts on Tuesday and the boys start on Wednesday. That gives me a mere 4 days — including today — to enjoy what’s left of the summer with them. I realize I’m fighting a losing battle and school is inevitable. I also realize the fight is part of what’s making me feel so sad. SO, I decided that my Thankful Thursday post needs to focus on the very topic that is robbing me of my happiness these past few days…. I need to look at all I have to be thankful for with the start of school….
 I’m thankful there are “free”, high-quality public schools for my children to attend. Many countries, many parents and many children do not have that luxury. Even more so, I’m thankful that I have so many choices in how and where to address the special needs and education of my boys who happened to have been blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka Down syndrome). Again, not all are as lucky as I am living here in Nassau County, NY… We have so many wonderful choices that I get to choose which works best for my boys’ and my family’s needs.
 I’m thankful for the time I will have to bring some much-needed focus back to taking care of myself. I have been remiss in doing so and the start of school will allow me a smidgen of time to exercise and eat better, which will help manage my stress and make me a better parent to my children and a better wife to my husband.
 That “free” time while the kids are at school — all of maybe 3 1/2 hours — will also afford me the opportunity to work on finishing some unfinished business around the house. I don’t mean laundry and vacuuming, ladies. I’m talking insulating and Sheetrocking walls, taping and spackling, painting, tiling the bathtub (not retiling, mind you. It is currently plastic sheets hanging over duroc), installing a back splash in the kitchen, window trim throughout the extension (not curtains but wood framing) and final electrical and plumbing inspections that are holding us back from getting our Certificate of Occupancy. These projects will also make us eligible for an 8-year home improvement tax break!!!! You’re thinking that gives them (local government) a way to raise my taxes? Guess what? Even without the C of O, they’ve already raised my taxes on the unfinished living space we added. The only thing I’m missing out on now is the tax break and the peace of mind that comes with living in a finished home versus an eternal construction zone LOL!
 Having the kids back in school will reinstitute reasonable bedtimes and life-routines for all of us that will most certainly relieve me of my bad-mom guilt. Like feeling bad about the kids still being in their PJs at noon. Don’t gasp too loud (yet)… They were up late last night due to late naps after a long day at the pool and so slept in past 9 this morning. So, it’s only been a few hours of PJs. For those of you whose children wake at 6, that’s like getting them dressed around 8…. Not so far from reasonable… right? Please agree or I’ll have to take to the couch with a wet compress on my head and schedule a double with our elusive social worker. LOL… just kidding. Why dress them in clothes just to redress them in bathing suits for the beach in 1/2 an hour???
 Starting school will also make me get up, shower, get fully and respectably dressed and paint my face to drive the kids in to their respective schools. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up totally, walking around in my skivvies all day. Just that having a schedule and a reason makes me complete the task of putting a good and finished face on for the world that might otherwise take me nearly all day to accomplish… For instance, what’s the point of make-up when you’re going to the beach? I don’t know about you but even my waterproof mascara runs at the beach and pool!
[Bonus Thanks] I can do my store errands without the kids. I used to love taking the kids to the stores — like BJ’s Warehouse — to expose them to more stuff and people. BUT, 4-year-old twins that don’t want to ride in the stroller anymore, who often don’t want to obediently follow Mommy around the store and would rather go exploring is wearing. Honestly, I’ll do without the milk before I venture into the store with my 3 kids in tow these days. With school in session, I don’t have to worry anymore!
As I finish this up I realize there are lots of benefits for me and the kids to the start of school. And, lots of good stuff to look forward to as well… I won’t go into it but suffice it to say that thinking thankful has certainly helped give me a brighter outlook… even if it only lasts for the time it takes me to type this. That’s 15 minutes less of whining and complaining that the summer is ending.