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Post-Vacation Blues

Last Monday, about five minutes before it was time to head out the door, Simon broke down into ugly, sobbing, tears. He didn’t want to go to school.

I’ve seen this before, of course, but this time I wasn’t worried or anxious over the tears. Because while the cure for perfectionism and anxiety is elusive and slow coming, the cure to Monday morning blues is accessible and quick: You just get on with it. And I was pretty sure that Monday-itis is what I was dealing with, as Simon has had no notable issues with school for weeks now.

Plus, Matt and I were feeling a touch of post-vacation letdown ourselves. Having blown the first week to smithereens with our own flu shot procrastination, we packed as much into the second week as time and weather would allow. After a week of family fun, who in the world is excited about setting an alarm clock and feeling rushed once more? Not us. Nor Simon.

The sobs abated by the time we were heading down our street to the bus-stop on the corner. He was moist but stoic when we greeted the McMahon girls. And when the bus arrived, he gave me a quick hug and kiss and ran to the bus in a way he did not when it was school-related anxiety making him miserable. He just got on with it, and by the end of the day he was fine. When I picked him up in the school gym, he was all smiles and talk of the entire class staying on green for the day.

This morning we witnessed a return of Monday-itis in a milder form. I suppose I could call it post-weekend letdown. It is thankfully milder than post-vacation letdown, expressing itself in quiet tears rather than heaving sobs. I tried out a little talk therapy as we headed down our street, talking about feeling the same way, explaining that the dread is always much worse than the reality, and suggesting that he picture all the things he likes about school. Then I confessed to feeling the same way and hugged him out of solidarity.

I’m not sure how helpful that was, but he once again gave me a big kiss and bounded towards the bus once it came into view. He’s getting on with it. And if he can keep his post-vacation or post-weekend let-down from intruding into the actual weekend or vacation, he’ll be ahead of his mother and Uncle Steve in such matters.

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