Last week I received a letter from my son’s school to tell me who’s class he’s in with other notes about the start of the school year. That means only one thing: summer is nearing its end. It’s funny how as parents, the summer ends the minute “Back to School” shopping begins. Of course there’s also that moment of “is he really in the fourth grade?” reminding us that not only do our children get older, we’re getting a lot older. Soon, we’ll find ourselves waiting at the bus stop and rekindling the school year friendship we have with neighbors that share the bus and sending our ever-growing kids off to school.
People think that this time of year is a vacation time for stay at home parents of school aged kids. I actually thought that way myself until I became one. It’s more work than summer vacation, it really is. On vacation time, you can all sleep in and just relax. The school year hits, and at 6-7 am you need to go into “get everyone ready mode”. Breakfast needs to be on the table, the kids need to be dressed and groomed and then sent off hopefully in time for the bus in the morning. If you’re really lucky, you’re spending that time also making sure you pack the lunches and that all the paperwork needed to be sent into school that day is in the backpacks. Then you can continue on a day where you make sure you’re available in case the school calls, and make sure you’re there to pick them up in time. And you get to do that over and over for 120 some odd days, give or take. Don’t forget all those after school activities, and keeping track of them. Then you crash at 9pm when your child does and realize how old you’ve really gotten. I can’t wait.
As tiresome as it is, you can’t help to feel excited. So what your life revolves around conferences and open houses? It all seems worth it no matter how exhausting it is. We’re doing what kids need to be successful in their life every time we help them with their homework or show up to school events. This time of year we need to remember the teachers and staff that takes care of our precious cargo during the day to make sure they are educated not just by books, but the interactions with classmates and adults to shape them into people we want them to be. Besides, we need to hold onto this now because soon our skinny jeaned fashion plate children will be standing in front of us with their diplomas and we realize how time flies.