On Tuesday school starts and although I know this next statement may get me kicked out of the mommy’s- counting- down- until- school- starts- club I just have to say that I’m NOT looking forward to Tuesday. My reason may be a little different though than you are expecting.
I’m NOT dreading Tuesday because----
·I’m worried about bullying. I mean I am worried but that’s not the overwhelming reason here. Every day my stomach turns when I read another story about a pre-teenager driven to suicide because he or she doesn’t feel they are living up to peer standards or a special needs child that is bullied or tortured simply because he or she is different. Both of my kids are incredibly sensitive and I know neither is bully proof despite our best efforts. So we’ll keep the lines of communication open with our daughter even if it does mean we occasionally have to bite our tongues to keep from passing judgment. We’ll also diligently watch Caden’s nonverbal and look for anything that he isn’t or can’t tell us. And we’ll continue to volunteer in both grades so that staff and children are aware of our [helpful] presence.
·I dread routine. Honestly I’m OCD enough that having precise dates and times penciled into my calendar make me feel safe and secure. Things on the calendar like appointments and special activities also make me feel like I am doing stuff for my children outside of the mundane like laundry.
I think I can teach my children better than their teachers. I know that there’s a reason that their teachers went into their profession and I never cease to be amazed by the teachers’ hard work, creativity, and dedication to their students. Having said that I do hope that eventually life and careers are to a point where I can try homeschooling the kids. I love watching them learn and can only imagine getting to be a part of their academic learning process in that capacity.
·School costs money. Of course school starting does mean more money headed out the door for field trips, workbooks, supplies, and general stuff but it also means that money is coming in the door again since Dan and I both go back on contract the same day the kids start school. With 12 months in the year, it is always nice to be in the 9 months that we actually get pay checks. Along those same lines…
It means time to start working again. If I put too much thought into this one it certainly could become a reason to dread Tuesday since this year is a big go-time for me. Next year I go up for tenure and promotion and need teaching evaluations to be out the door and publications to be through the roof. But that’s just work and while certainly stressful really isn’t the source of my Tuesday dread. In fact I know that I’m fortunate to have a job and I get to have an office in a new building with my husband sitting in the office next to me.
The real reason though that I dread Tuesday is simply because I’m happiest when my family is together. I get to work next to my husband but strangely we don’t see each other a lot throughout the day as we both dash off in different directions to our various meetings and classes. I’m also only 5 minutes away from the kids’ school but sometimes that distance seems like forever and not just because there is literally a river separating us during the day. I like when we are all together. That’s probably why we all go to each other’s events or activities and why we usually run all of our errands together. Heaven knows 4 people and a service dog at the grocery store isn’t the easiest way to accomplish things but I love the spontaneous conversations these trips yield and I adore being able to see my whole family together. We thrive in each other’s presence and together make a unit that is stronger than any one of us individually. Obviously the day will come when the kids need to forge their own paths in the world—maybe at college or a job or a first apartment but until that day I’m going to hang onto every precious moment we have together.
But because they are both excited I will dutifully pack all of their school belongings and lay out the camera for Dan to take the first day of school pictures and then drop off them off at school with Ry headed for her first year in AP and Caden and Elf headed back to kindergarten for another year. I’ll head to my own classes and try not to watch the clock too closely as I count down the time until we are all together again. I wonder though if it is too soon to start counting down until Winter Break???