HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
September 10, 2007, Herald Journal

A big, fat crack in my heart


Well, the big first day of school just started for my boys – just hours before I started writing this. I figure I can make myself feel better by putting my thoughts into print.

I’ve been dreading this day for the last couple weeks, and have to say I was a little crabby last night – my poor husband can attest to that!

I spent most of the Labor Day weekend cleaning, doing laundry, and prepping for the upcoming school year. I cut the boys’ hair, and fingernails, and made sure everything was organized so that we all would get the school year off to a great start.

We did manage to get some fun family time in at the lake, visited an apple farm, and attended a kid-friendly family party, as well.

The morning of the first day of school went very well. The boys got up nicely, and we enjoyed a non-rushed morning.

We arrived at school about 10 minutes early, and I stood outside the school as the boys played with friends that they were excited to reunite with.

As soon as the bell rang, I felt a pang in my heart.

My baby is now a first grader, and he will be gone all day. Luckily I had sunglasses on because the waterworks started as I watched my boys enter school and wave goodbye.

I could feel my heart cracking, in a jagged fashion, down its center. How’s that for drama, huh?

I walked to my car and pulled myself together, I mean really, this shouldn’t have been so traumatic for me! I called my husband who made me feel better because we both started laughing about my behavior.

He said I was a fruit loop, and I’m not going to lie, I am!

Second day of school

Things are looking up today. After I picked the boys up from school yesterday, they told me how fun their day was, how nice their teachers were, and my youngest even said the day was short!

Dropping the boys off this morning involved much less drama for me, thankfully, than the day before.

The boys were excited to return to school, and that makes things much easier on a mom!

On the duck front

Heartbreak occurred for the second time in one day when I found the remains of one of my female Australian Spotted ducks while doing chores last night.

I’ve lost six ducks in the last two weeks to some kind of evil predator. I’ve erected a six-foot, electrically charged fence around the duck barn complete with spotlights, a watch tower, and I’ve hired a 24-hour patrolman who’s instructed to shoot first and ask questions later. No, not really, but I’d like to!

It’s time to clip wings again, but it makes me nervous to do so when a predator is lurking around the place. At least they have a little more of a chance if they can fly away from the thing.

For now, the ducks will be put away earlier in the evening and let out later in the morning to try to prevent any more losses.


After I was done cutting my 8-year-old’s hair, he took his shirt off because the collar had gotten full of hair. As clipped pieces of hair fell on his chest he said in a deep voice, “Now, I’m manly!”