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Four Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed…Back-to-School Transition Time

The song about little monkeys kept running through my head this morning… four little monkeys, jumping on the bed, and one fell of and bumped his head; mama called the doctor and the doctor said, no more monkeys jumping on the bed. With

kids now in the teens and early-adult years, I haven’t sang that one in years; however it is all coming back to me as one more of the four monkeys heads off to start a new adventure, and we will only have one left in the house.

Just for clarity, we don’t have pet monkeys. I am referring to our four children, the ones we call Number 1, Number 2, Number 3 and Number 4. We don’t use their names when we write because they will have their own stories to tell, now and in the future. When I found this treasure of the four-monkey statue, I had to have it. The kids laughed at my $1.50 Goodwill find, but I could not wait to get it home, clean it up and call them mine.

Again, for clarity purpose, nobody bumped a head or left the house for medical reasons. It is just another journey in life for our family. Number 1 left for college and now after graduation is settling in for a first job in a different state. Number 2 has been traveling the globe, doing what she loves; teaching music, dancing and performing with children of all ages here and abroad.

Next week Number 3 will leave for college. Yes, we will miss him and it will change the family dynamic once again, but my husband and I believe the kids need their own adventures, and that trumps our desire to keep the monkeys in the house, with the exception, of course, of my new miniature statue.

He will only be three hours away. At this point, with child Number 3, I have gotten pretty good at packing for away-from-home needs; however, as the perpetual planner I admit I still over pack. Number 1 reminded me of this when I thought Number 3 should bring a doorstop, a sewing kit and wrinkle free spray for his clothes. In the middle of Wal-Mart, on a trip home before the job, Number 1 said, “Ma, come on, he is not going to use those things, so take them off your list.”

A mom can still dream that her children will apply all that she has taught them – keep your door open and invite others in; always have a safety pin just in case; and no need to wear a wrinkled shirt when a hanger and spray can help. Alas, I know Number 1 is right. I can still hope he will employ new habits. The reality is, however, I am praying he will change his sheets on his bed, use the Clorox wipes I bought him and sweep up the crumbs on the floor with the handy vacuum I found on sale.

For the most part, I get excited about new beginnings. I love the thrill of searching for tips, tricks and lists on the internet; of buying new planners and tools to start new habits; of starting with clean sheets, clean room and all the supplies you need for a transition. Events like a move can be a catalyst for a fresh start.

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