School has been back in session for a week and we are beginning to settle into our new/old routine. They’re in Grade 1 and Grade 3, and I’m still kind of confused as to how we got here so fast!
I’ve also realized that I’ve learned a few things about life, and the “Back to School Season” over the past 4 years…
1. Last minute Back to School shopping is crazier than Walmart on Christmas Eve. Those parents are hard-core! For reals! They’re like beat you with a binder, ram you with a shopping cart crazy. Their children can be seen trying to hid in a stack of backpacks while their throwing it down over the last glue stick and whine over prices. It’s good times my friends, good times.
Take my advice shop way in advance, when the sales are hot and the shelves are well stocked. This will give you time to find everything on your school supply list and will save you a trip to the ER.
2. Children’s behaviour leading up to “back to school” gets emotional. Ok, it gets even MORE emotional than normal. The combination of being completely sick of each other, mixed with the anxiety/apprehension about a new teacher & a new class makes for some seriously moody children.
I’m learning (and often failing) not to take those moods too seriously. I’m also learning it’s not appropriate to giggle when they swing from laughing to crying, to raging to laughing and finishing with a sobbing fit all in the span of a TV commercial break. It doesn’t help…trust me.
3. Labeling school supplies is fun, tedious but fun. Also, it’s a Mama’s job, DON’T LET THE KIDS HELP THEY’LL MESS IT UP! (Aaaand you’ll end up with a wicked cramp in your writing hand if you don’t order/print some labels. Which I did, and it helped)
Ya, I’m a geek. I can’t help it I was born that way. Pretty labels, tidily printed names, new pencils and crayons all lined up ready to go make me happy. It took 2 hours but I was happy to go through it all. Each time my girls pick up a pencil or open their binder they’ll see their name, in my printing and hopefully they’ll know it was put there with love.
4. This season leaves me feeling “The Happy Sad”.
As our girls head back to school my emotions go a little crazy too. It’s like having your period and watching a Friends, and then there’s a sad commercial and you just can’t cope! (PIVOT!)(If you didn’t get the reference we can’t be friends, don’t read this)(or go HERE, then we can be friends again).
Our kids are ready for a change of pace, they’re sick of me and at times (like when they’re fighting over a stuffie like sumo wrestlers over a hoagie) I’m kinda sick of them. They need other kids, adults & activities to fill their days and so do I. The time apart gives us all something new to talk about at dinner & knowing it’s coming leaves me happy.
On the other hand, I love these little creatures. They’re over all really great kids, kind compassionate and smart little girls who fill my bucket on SO many levels. The time is zipping by fast & I do my best to cherish
most our days together. Seeing them go off to school, knowing how fast it flies by leaves me sad.
In the midst of all those feels I try my best to give my girls a gift my Mom gave to me.
Never once did my Mom make me feel unwanted. Instead I felt loved, important (punished, indignant and like a slave at times…because I had to unload the dishwasher – the injustice!) and valued because of the words she chose to say, and the things she chose not to.
She never told us she was happy we were gone, or that she couldn’t wait for us to go back to school, and I try to do the same.
Instead I tell them I’m excited for their new year, that I know they’re going to love their teacher/class & I can’t wait to hear about each day but I will miss them. And when they go back I sincerely do.
Of all the lessons I’ve learned over the past 4 years, the one that stands out the most is that time with our kids is precious. When we look back on the days, months, years that have pasts the hard times will easily be eclipsed by the good memories and time is moving at warp speed.
Back to school always leaves me feeling the “Happy Sad” but each night as I watch my girls sleep, that too slips away. Instead I’m left feeling incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed by the little girls I get to call mine.