Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday CoffeeTalk-September 10 Guest: Amy Cummings

Today, I've invited my friend, Amy Cummings in for a cuppa coffee and a chance to get to know Amy a bit better.  Many of you know Amy from her beautiful reader/reviewer site, Romance BookWyrm. 

Today she is here, visiting with us about being a parent and that all too familiar "first day of school" syndrome that we've all likely experienced one way or another--for some, perhaps many times over.;) (Oh, that would be me!)  So let me pour Amy a  steaming cuppa fresh coffee and we'll get started!

When Amanda first asked if I'd like to guest blog on her new Thursday segment, I thought, "Yeah! That would be great!" I can't start my day without my morning cuppa coffee!" But then I thought, "Oh no, what could I possibly have to talk about." And then it came to me on Monday as I went through my sons school stuff, making sure all's in order for his first day back to school! And that would be the significance of what a new school year holds for me. Shopping for school supplies and clothes. New shoes. The hair cut. I've already had to rebuy a few things. Either the backpack wasn't the right one or the lunch box was too big. And I still need to by him new underdrawers! Gotta have new ones for the start of a new year! Taking a few days to get us back on a morning wake-up and bedtime schedule.

The big yellow school buses are out and about. The school speed zones are once again flashing. Life is once again in full speed. When you yourself are in school, your life revolves around the school years, but then you graduate, become part of the working world and each day, month, year becomes just another one. None really hold the same significance as they do when you are in school. But then you become a parent, and you revert back to that way of thinking. September and June mark the beginning and end. July and August are times to relax and have fun, be lazy and sleep in. Stay up late with your friends.

Back to school signifies many things. It's actually a very exciting and special time. For me, it marks the beginning of a new year, rather than January. My baby is one grade higher. One year older. And this year is a very special one. It's his last year in elementary school. He's taken on somewhat of a new look with his hair. I've finally stopped shaving his head and am letting him grow it out some, so he can have his own style. Poor kid has curly hair like his mamma! He is his own person and it's time I step back and let him have some more say with respect to his personal appearance. It may seem like an easy thing, but it's not! It means I'm one step closer to letting my baby go and be the man he will be. I do look forward to that, and I don't dwell on him growing up and missing when he was a baby, but it is scary to see how fast time does go by. I know I'm overprotective, and he is even beginning to notice and comment! *Gasp*! My own child is telling me I need to back off ! (just a bit!)

Back to school also signifies the beginnings of Fall. I love Fall. The crispness in the air. The foliage in all its splendor. I love a cloudy day, with a little sun peeking through here and there, shining down on the leaves that litter the yards, the roads. And with the onset of Fall, begins the count down to three most celebrated holidays of the year. Halloween, Thanksgiving and the big one, Christmas! Not to mention it's the time of year that I'm a year older too :). Luckily, my child doens't think I'm old yet! Unlike me with my mom. The other day we were out to lunch and the waiter did that super quick run-down of the salad dressing, you know how they say them so darn fast. Well, he was giving the list to my mom and she just got this look on her face and then she looked at me with total confusion. The first thing out of my mouth to the waiter was, "Umm, she's getting old and hard of hearing, could you please say them a little louder and slower." Oh man, my mom couldn't do anything but laugh! I think I embarrassed the waiter! He apologized and got down to where he was at her eye level and said them again! It was all quite comical :).

Back to school means so much more to me than just another school year for my son. It's a beginning. A countdown. A change of season.

If you have kids in school, what does back to school mean to you? And if not, is there a time of year that holds more significance than any other?
Thank you, Amanda, for letting me be here today and for sharing a cuppa coffee with me!
*Thanks Amy for stopping in at the breakfast table for a quick cuppa!  I've been having a lot of those "moments" these days as I watch all my children getting taller than me!;))  Eek!

We welcome your particular thoughts this morning at Thursday Coffee Talk!


Sept.17, On Coffee Talk: USA best-selling author, Renee Bernard


Amanda McIntyre said...

I thought about this question and realized that every year it hold a different meaning for me. In the early years, it was all about getting those lists and going to the store to get new stuff for school (my particular weakness is Crayons, I won't lie, I love the smell of a box of fresh crayons!)

as my kids got older and more involved in sports and other activities, those things elevated to new cleats, a glove,uniforms, instruments and lessons in the summer before school starts.

then high school, dreading the registration day when you have to save your pennies just to write that check for all the stuff your kids are involved in--then theres drving for the first time to school,the first time you let them go to an out of town game with their friends

Is it any great wonder I have to cover the grey? LOL

Passages-for them and for us. Watching them grow into interesting, hard-working and kind adults.
So worth every moment, of every year!

Great post Amy!


Blodeuedd said...

Hi Amy :) and Amanda
Great post, just in time for dinner for me.

I really don't know, a time, hm, well there is always Christmas cos that sure gets the whole family together now when we are grown up.

As for when I was in school (well ok I still am) but then it meant fall was coming and summer was put behind

Unknown said...

Hi my dear friend Amy and sweet friend Amanda!

I love this post! It actually brought tears to my eyes!

I've been letting my babies go. My oldest just graduated high school **eek!** (I'm really getting old, but don't tell anyone, just our secret, 'k?) My daughter's a junior in high school this year (two years to graduation) **double eek!** And my baby is a freshman (gasping for air now!).

I've had to do some really growing up over the fast four years, yes I know I'm already an adult, but letting go means growing and changing. It's really hard to do, suddenly you have to watch what you say, the embarrassment factor. So, you start letting go in pieces, first to a dance with a date, then to the out of town events, and suddenly one weekend, you look around and realize you have a weekend free without kids, and you didn't even have to hire a babysitter, egad!

You may not believe me, but it happens to everyone. Slowly, my kids are becoming adults.

So, yes, back to school is very significant to me. College has started for my oldest, my daughter is starting to panic about her looming graduation, and my youngest is starting to eye the cars. Where did the time go? It speeds by way too quickly.

Great post!

Dottie :)

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey ladies!!!
I hope to fine everyone well and healthy!
Oh wow, awesome post Amy!

Growing up is optional.... Growing older is optional... But living life to the fullest is what it is all about!!!

Well, my baby is in 10th grade. Time does fly way to fast. I have watched (and continue to watch) her spread her wings with wonderment and amazement that that is my baby **said with a snifful**.
School does mean something, and it amazing that it means different things to all of us.
First... For me, it marks the countdown to daughter & my birthday (and now Amy's!!!). Planning, shopping, figuring out calendars and what is going on and what kind of party to throw.
But put that aside **sips from my coffee** and it means life is running on course. She grows a year older, my time with her limited. Because come' on... once they start to drive, the only thing she will need me for is a debit card, lol! My time of hanging out with her will decrease and those moments I have treasured. It has been awesome to have her as my best friend. But I know with each passing year of school starting she is growing more independently into her own beautiful young lady.
Fall is my favorite season though... so I try to absorb all I can of this season. Then you have the hustle and bustle of holidays coming up and preparations for them. I live for this time of the year.
Thanks for allowing me to put in my two cents!
I hope you ladies have a great day!
**still sipping on my coffee**

Amanda McIntyre said...

the twins are in 11th grade Cecile! I can't believe it!! but you know what? I've discovered that and I'm betting its true, that even though right now it seems they are in their own bubble
eventually you gain back that friend again in a few years and man-it is even better!

My oldest(my only daughter) is an amazing woman!
And my oldest son has grown from a challenging teen to the stuff of heroes, IMO.

so it comes back, mama Cecile and its even better!


Leontine said...

I don't have any kids but oh the fall season is one of my best season of the year :) The temperature starts to drop and in the Netherlands the fall season is knows for stormy weather, lots of rain and wind. Talk about perfect reading weather. I love that the days grow short, candles and lights on in the house. A tea pot on the table, me curled up on te couch with baggy yoga pants, an xl sweater and those sock you can pull up to your knees but always dangle around your anckles. Ok, it is my atire when I know I have not visitors coming over and in the mood for a lazy afternoon. But still, you get the picture :)

We don't celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving in the Netherlands but I always enjoy the vibe coming from US based friends. It makes me want a stormy night right now, candles lit and on the couch with a always, Dutch weather is having a mind of its own :D

Anna said...

Wonderful post Amy!! ((hugs)) When I was in school the first day's I always looked forward too, but being the shy person I am I was usually nervous. But by the second day I was doing ok. LOL!

Amy C said...

Ahhh, so nice to be with my friends, and having a cuppa coffee too!

Amanda, Dottie and Cecile, you all have older kids and you named the things that I think about with Devin in the coming years. I look forward to them, like the dances and the car thing, but man does it form a lump in my throat! Because with those comes responsibility on his part and I worry and hope that I have done the right thing over the years that Devin is responsible with all things. Girls and driving and peer pressure, oh my!!

Ummm, can I have a shot of a little something stronger than cream in my coffee?? :P

I'm glad to see that you all love the fall season too!

Anna, we moved around so much growing up that I was the new kid so often, I think it affected my social skills! Even when we moved to Kansas and I was in school with the same kids for 5 years, I still always had a hard time finding myself, but by then it was middle school and high school. It's hard. And that is the one thing I am soooo very thankful for with Devin. He has been with the same kids since he started school and I hope always will. For him going back to school is like another day, just a new teacher. He's not even nervous! It's a nice feeling to know that it's so easy for him :)

Kristi Cook said...

Leontine, I think we're having your Dutch fall weather here in New York City today! Stormy,'s very atmospheric today.

My kids finally went back to school this week--I have mixed feelings this time of year. I miss the lazy days of summer. Sleeping in, fewer responsibilities, slower schedule. But once school--and fall--starts, it's back to the grind. Life becomes busy again. Between daughter #1's swim team practice/meets, daughter #2's ballet, and both kids' piano lessons, it seems like we're always on the go. And I think we're adding soccer to the mix this fall--not quite sure how we're going to do it all.

On the other hand, I'm left with a huge chunk of time during the day to write while the kids are in school. The challenge is getting myself in the 'muse mode' and making myself write during those hours.

And that's *really* a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Hello Amy and Amanda!

Two of my children are adults - out of school and out of the nest. Then came my third little surprise. Next year, it'll be back to school for our family. We had a blissful few years without school in our lives - work, yes, school no. I got to make my own schedule, stayed up as late as I dared, etc.

Really, when you have a child in school, the whole family is affected.

So I'm readying myself for another 13 years.

15 (mine) + 14 (A&B) + another 13 (ahead of me for Mace.) = 42 years.

I should get an honorary PHD at USC for that.

May all your teachers be creative,
the children friendly,
and the crossing guards mindful.


Anonymous said...

PS - My first two were only a year apart.

mrsshukra said...

Back to school is exciting... except for the heavier Honolulu traffic!

Blanche said...

Hi Amanda and Amy!!

I have 2 kids, the oldest graduated from college in June and my baby is a freshman in high school. I'm really excited for him but I'm not really ready to let him grow up on me yet!! :)The hardest thing right now is having to get up at 5am....I'm still staying up way later than I should....more often than not reading! Once we get the routine down it will be easier for all of us!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

It amazes me that we all see the basic point of life. This was an amazing post Amy!
Thanks for having these days Amanda!
My cup of coffee was good with friends... But I am agreeing with Amy C... I need something stronger than coffee now... Daughter just came in the room and told me she is now dating a boy... cough cough... young man. AGH!!!! Not her first boyfriend... but her first boyfriend in high school... OMG!!! So, not ready for this. She went to homecoming last year with a friend... I am so not ready for this... Amy... don't worry honey... When it is your turn to tell me about these things, I will remind you of my journey!!!
***goes to cabinet to find wine bottle....***
Anyone want to trade their coffee in for some wine, I am pouring!!! \~/

Amy C said...

Oh Cecile! I always tell myself that boys are easier than girls. But I think that's just me trying to ease my worries as Devin gets older.

Dating!! I still have a few years before I get hit with that one! I know I liked boys in 5th grade, but Devin is still not showing any signs of that just yet. But they do say that boys mature later than girls do! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! :P

Wine bottle?? Pah! Break out something with a bit more strength!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Ive broken into the wine tonigh! dating! om goodness Cecile! Deep breath!

I think my oldest ahd a girl a week when he was in high school. What a rogue!

But I think he's found the woman who makes him a better man;)

So far the twins are so dang busy I'm not sure when they'd have time to develop a relationship LOL which honestly is fine by me. but they've have friends that they have literally gone through school with since kindergarten they tend to do things in big groups. Im okay with that.

It is great to be able to bounce some of this stuff of each other. over coffee or wine or baileys in your coffee works , too!;))


Yeah I was looking for a pic, Amy , trying to do a before and after of Devin

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Stronger... okay honey.. I am game for anything at this point!! LOL!!! Boys vs. Girls... I would have no clue... And our age makes a difference too. But it still does not prepare me for what is to come. I remember 5th grade... ***oh my gosh... goes to the "hidden" cabinet... Vodka... Southern Comfort... Rum...*** She never showed interest either... till now... Now I get told who is eye candy... Guess the apple does not fall far from the tree... Maybe I have been leaving my books laying around to much, lmao!!!!
You and I though will have a blast watching our children grow!

Amy C said...

Amanda, I just went through my cd's to see Devin's first day of school pics through the years! I found all but second grade.

He has changed so much! I can only imagine how much he is going to still change. You must have some serious moments of nostalgia when you look at pictures of your kids. They have alot more years on Devin.

Devin and I were looking at his kindergarten pics and I remembered something I had forgotten. The second day of school, we're standing out waiting for the bus and when it pulled up Devin decided to make a mad dash for the vehicles. Me and shawn were chasing after him around the vehicles trying to get him to get on the bus! OMGsh it was freakin hilarious. He refused to get on that bus! I finally waved the driver to go. He claimed he was sick, but he wasn't showing any signs. I let him stay home anyway, thinking it's only the second day of kindergarten. No biggie! Well, sure enough, he wasn't feeling well, and got his first cold of Kindergarten!
I wonder if the bus driver still remembers that day Devin running away from us, refusing to get on the bus?? LOL! Oh the memories!

Donna said...

Hi Amy!!! Love your post, you have such a wonderful way of looking at everything. *smiles*

Ah, I remember the school supply gathering days. Day gone by for me now. My one and only kiddo is in college now, going on his second year. Seems all he needs now a days is something to write with and on. No more Trapper Keepers. ;)

Being here in Texas we really don't get much a fall, well not much in the way of the four season sadly. Here my favorite time of the year is winter. I love having the cooler weather. Notice I said 'cooler'? Texas really just doesn't get very cold, if it does it's just for a day or few and never lasts long. I love snuggling down in a thick comforter on the cooler evenings with a good book when everyone has settled down and safe at home.

So glad to meet up with here Amy! Take Care.

Mary G said...

Back to school means tuition & books for a third year college student. I make him pay half plus his books. It's been the best lesson ever about the value of money. He works 2 jobs in the summer & I'm proud of the lesson we've taught him. It also means more proofreading for me. He still bounces ideas off of us. Since he's in Sports Management that's okay. At least it's interesting. Love Devin's picture.

Lea said...

Hi Amy and Amanda!!

So sorry to be at the back of the "school bus", here. I wasn't online much yestereday and missed your post Amy which is WONDERFUL by the way. :)

Devin is sure looking grown up and yes the beginning of school does signify so much doesn't. Both of our sons are in post secondary and adults so there isn't the preparation that the beginning of school once required for me.

I like you love the fall Amy, the leaves turning color, the cooler temperatures, I find it to be a wonderful time of year.

Again, sorry I missed this post yesterday and I hope Devin is settling in as an Elementary school "senior" nicely.

All the very best

Christine said...

Hi Amanda! This is my first time visiting, although I've had a two of your books on my wish list for a while now. You have a lovely blog and site.

Well, I'm not sure if the coffee's still hot or if the wine is still flowing, but I finally got around to stopping by and thought I'd chime in. I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that so many of us have the same feelings about the start of school. I have two daughters--one just started 5th grade yesterday and the other started high school. Now, how the heck did that happen? I'm still part in shock that I'm the mom of a teenager in high school and part reveling in the fact that I'm the mom of a beautiful, bright young woman. I guess I like the routine of the school year, but already I'm resenting the activities that always seem to take place during dinner time. Before dinner, fine. After dinner, okay. But can't we all just be home for dinner? *sigh*

... and it's only the second day of school! LOL!

Well, I hope everyone who's following a school year has a great year, and those who don't... well.. I hope you have a great season whichever you're in right now! ; )

Cheers! : )

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hi Christine! Its great you could stop by!
I can so relate to the dinner thing. I swear their lives are busier than mine and I have a career!LOL

Yeah,I ask myself often what happened? When did they get older!

Thank you for your nice words about my website, hope you'll be stopping by often!


Amanda McIntyre said...

HI Lea!
Back of the bus LOL
thanks for stopping in;)

Amanda McIntyre said...

Mary G
sounds like quite the young man you have there!
Congratulations mom on rearing a great kid!

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