For many parents, normalcy has returned to their lives now that the kids are back in school.
Those summertime romps and extended bedtimes have ended, and the whining about 9 o'clock bedtimes have begun. Yet it's somewhat tolerable because parents know their precious children will soon be regularly falling asleep on schedule. It's back to a familiar routine of life.
It's time for parents to enjoy the technological silencing of their children's game systems and MP3 players, turn off Nick Jr., Nick at Night, The Cartoon Network or The Disney Channel and become adults again.
There is a certain feeling of satisfaction some parents feel when you can change the television channel without hearing a loud moan of disapproval, even more so when you can shut it off completely.
My favorite back-to-school moment as an adult parent has always been after the kids fell asleep and the house was finally quiet. I could shut off the television and turn on the stereo to listen my favorite music, curl up in a chair and maybe even enjoy a nice glass of bourbon and diet Pepsi on the rocks while reading a book.
Sitting alone in the chair, I'd start planning outings with my friends, who were also devoted -- yet equally tired -- mothers. It's nice to get out of the house and do something other than watch Barney or relearn elementary mathematics.
Don't think we didn't enjoy our time as mothers; usually it's all we talked about! But after a while, you start to crave adult conversation that doesn't involve a debate about which laundry soap best removes stains or if there is such a thing as a 10-second rule for popsicles and/or sippy cups dropped on the floor of the mall when your teething toddler is screaming bloody murder.
Those issues seem more amusing after you've ate lunch that didn't involve macaroni and cheese and fish sticks. It was especially nice to do something that didn't involve having to clean up after someone else.
Hearing "Mom" said countless ways for what felt like all day, it was kind of nice being called by your name for a change. Although its nice being treated like an adult for a brief period of time, trust me, it's even better being a mom. After listening to the woes of some of my "adult friends," I always went home and relished hearing my children whisper "love you mom" when I kissed their foreheads.
I have no clue where the time went, but my daughter is married and turning 20 in a few days, while my son is 16-years-old and entering his junior year of high school. Their lives are very busy and I don't hear "Mom" as much as I used to. That's the way it is supposed to be.
It's a little sad to think there will only be one more "back-to-school" moment.
While it's not happening to me yet, I have a few friends experiencing the onset of the empty nest syndrome.
Is the nest at my house empty?
No, quite the contrary, my son's friends are always visiting, making it difficult to walk through the house without tripping over a teenager sometimes.
But hearing, "I love you mom," said by my son, who always gives me a big hug each time he leaves the house, more than makes up for a bad day.
However, it is a little sad to think there will only be one more "back-to-school" moment to share with my children. I guess there's always the potential to share those moments with grandchildren in the future.
For my first get together with friends this school year, I thought I'd share some adult libations.
Here's a simple recipe for Peach Coolers.
Combine the following ingredients and refrigerate overnight before serving.
1 12-ounce can of thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
1 12-ounce can of thawed frozen orange-peach concentrate
1 1/2 cups of lemon lime soda
1 1/2 cups peach brandy
1 shot each of peach flavored Schnapps and honey bourbon
To serve, pour over ice cubes in chilled glasses before garnishing with peach slices and mint leaves. You can also add a slice of lemon or lime to the drink mixture for a little more zing.