“Oh, dang.”

It’s a feeling of panic and resignation. It’s the feeling that says, “Vacation is over and life is not going to wait any more.”

Next week, my four kids will go to four different schools — high, middle, intermediate and primary.

In the coming weeks I anticipate a mountain of paperwork, which will feel like “Groundhog Day” as I fill out the brain-numbing same information, hoping not to mix it up or doom my children to a year of missed opportunities.

Last week we returned from a month long, cross-country road trip.

We started here at Fort Bragg and traveled nearly coast to coast and boarder to boarder; North Carolina to Oregon and Texas to Idaho.

We renewed relationships and made memories, but what I neglected was securing school uniforms, backpacks, lunch bags and washable markers.  

This week, instead of bridge-jumping with cousins, or eating out with my grandma, our days will be full of attending school open houses, buying equipment for the kids’ Child, Youth and School Services sports, meal planning, and acclimating their little bodies to waking up early.

Maybe I’m the only one who is trying too hard to hold onto summer vacation.

I assume, though, that there are a few others here on Fort Bragg who are joining the collective, “Oh, dang.”

To all of us gearing up for the upcoming school year, at whatever level of preparedness you find yourself, you can find comfort in the fact that you are probably more prepared than I.