Today, my son starts school, and I'm kind of sad. I've never been one of those moms who rejoiced at summer's end and my kid returning to school.
When school ended and summer vacation started, I always felt a sense of relief. It wasn't that I didn't continue to work, but like a lot of reporter parents out there, I figured it out. My son has grown up going to school board and city council meetings, and an assortment of protests here and there. If I was writing at home and waiting for a particular call, our conversation would go something like this, "When mom's phone rings it's going to be Chuck Huckelberry calling. If you need something, ask quietly." We've had a lot of quiet conversations or our own sign language over the years. During the summer, I relished evening runs to Bookmans to slowly trade in all the books we read during the school year, getting books to read over the summer. I relished walks down Fourth Avenue without worrying about it being a school night. It was our time. We did that recently—a walk down Fourth Avenue, dinner at Magpies, D&D Pinball and a visit to check out the new Johnny Gibson Downtown Market for eggs and Yoo-hoo. We ended our night at the HUB Ice Cream Factory. He's starting high school and I'm not the biggest priority anymore, plus I now share custody of him with his father, who happens to be a great dad. My ex-husband and I are lucky our kid actually likes us and likes spending time with us. I've been warned these next four years will go by fast and I'm always worried that my attempts at cobbling a home are really just that, attempts. But please, back-to-school gawds out there, let's take this one slowly. Let me figure a few things out. And please, let this next school year go well, not just for my kid, but all of Tucson's kids. Good luck and squeeze them tight.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org