I think it's safe to say everyone in the area is back in school. Especially since us weirdos in the south tend to begin school in the middle of summer, but that gripe is for another day. Anyway, parents everywhere are rejoicing. Kids everywhere are weeping. Parents everywhere are tossing over one of the 18 boxes of tissues they had to buy for school supplies to wipe their kid's tears.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that my boys are back in school. The reasons are endless, but I'll try to narrow it down to my "Top Five." Here goes:

1. Oh germs, how I've missed you. Within three days of school starting, my house has been plagued with the comforting snorts, sniffs, and coughs we all know and love and sadly had to sacrifice for the last few months. I'm going to suggest an addendum to the school supply list to indicate the need for all the extra tissues you'll need at home once the snot factory goes back into production. Estimated amount: A constant supply of approximately three tissues every 1.5 seconds from now until June.

2. Fundraisers! It's been a long, hard summer without coupon books, cookie dough, wrapping paper, trash bags, and spending $60 for a glow ring or a slap bracelet. I am not sure how I survived, but thankfully they wasted no time, and by day three I had an opportunity to spend a lot of money on something I don't need, will never use, and eventually throw away. Except for the cookies. I'll eat the cookies while I'm nursing sick kids and fretting over someone not doing their homework. Good strategy, PTO.

3. It had been almost an entire year since I've bought enough glue sticks to wallpaper the earth. I was having bad dreams about my children showing up to school with a measly four or six glue sticks and getting paddled or shipped off to Guantanamo or a home for sad, glue-stickless children. We are safe now, and I've successfully sent an Elmer heir to grad school once again.

4. I haven't been spending nearly enough time chilling in my car. Fortunately, school has started and I have endless hours to spend quality time with my practical vehicle in a sea of practical vehicles waiting for the kiddies to get out of school. For those of you that haven't done the afternoon pickup thing, I bet you weren't aware that arriving at the time school actually gets out is considered some form of abuse. I'm convinced that some of these parents simply circle the building after drop-off in the morning so they can be at the beginning of the line for pick-up because by the time I arrive at ten minutes before dismissal the line is already out past the street.

5. I don't know about you, but the leisure of summer was really getting to me. Having nowhere to be at 6:45 a.m.? What kind of life is that?

I live for tight schedules and having at least four back-to-back activities every Saturday and most weeknights, too. Whoever thought recreational sports and practices should start at the exact same time as school starts is a genius and I'd like to personally give you a big thank you and invite you over for a nice dinner. We can make room for you in the car; I hope you like chicken nuggets on the way to soccer practice while we go over spelling words.

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