Back to school… for mom?

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It’s reached that point of the summer when nobody in my house is allowed to utter the words “back to school.” With less than a week of summer vacation left my kids want to stay deeply in denial until the last possible second.

I thought they’d want some warning so it doesn’t sneak up on them. But apparently they want to rip the Band-Aid off all in one shot. Which means they prefer that I just wake them up one morning and say, “Time for school.”

Normally I dread my kids going back to school almost as much as they do. After all, the change in their routine means a change in my routine.

It means making lunches, playing the Homework Police, and being asked questions like, “Any ideas what I should do my science fair project on?” Which usually means, “I just remembered that my science fair project is due tomorrow.”

But this year I’m getting on my kids’ nerves because I’m actually looking forward to the school year. Because this time, I’m going back to school with them.

This September, in addition to my freelance and book writing projects, I’ll also be starting a Master’s degree in Communications Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

As anyone who has read my book, “With a Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada‚Äôs Toughest Neighbourhood” might be able to appreciate, going back to school is a full circle moment for me. As I mentioned in my book, when I was 15 I dropped out of school for several years. Although I eventually went back and finished high school, and then went on to university, I never imagined I’d go on to pursue a Master’s.

It’s hard to believe that come September, I’ll be sitting in a classroom again. Never mind the fact that it’s taken almost 30 years. Or that I’ll be several decades older than all of my classmates, and probably older than my professor.

Or that in addition to playing the Homework Police with my kids, I’ll have my own assignments and readings to keep up with, not to mention two tutorials to teach.

I’m hoping that going to school is sort of like riding a bike- that going to lectures, reading textbooks, and studying for tests is something that I can just fall back into. But the more I think about it, the less likely that seems.

Between now and the last time I sat in a classroom, computers and the internet were invented.