The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Here We Go!

on August 16, 2012

It starts. Another school year has snuck up on us leaving us to wonder where the summer went and why anyone needs to pay $3.95 for a two pack of pens.  Oh right.  Because they are the “cool” pens. Got it. While we are on the subject: why would any parent in their right mind buy their senior, who isn’t planning to major in anything remotely related to mathematics in college, a $140 graphing calculator? Not that I would ever claim to be in my right mind but I didn’t buy one. I believe the conversation went something like: “Don’t they have some of those in the classroom?” “Yes but that won’t help me with my homework.” “That is why we pay for the internet dear. You can find a graphing calculator site on-line.” Sigh….mutter….walk away. I know, I know, I am the world’s worst parent.  She should be glad I didn’t throw out, “We didn’t get to USE calculators when I was in High School. We had to use pencils and paper and our BRAINS.”, but I didn’t feel like explaining what a chalk board is and assuring her that, yes, we did have electricity and indoor plumbing.  She’ll get over it. She’ll have to.

School supply shopping and bankruptcy aside I always enjoy school starting again.  In theory.  Though I enjoy the relaxed routine of summer I like getting back to more of a schedule once school starts.  Well….until my alarm clock goes off at 5am the first morning. It’s amazing how one can get so used to that extra hour of sleep in just two short months.  I like that my kids will now be more occupied and not need for me to “suggest” things for them to do.  Well…until I have to start running around everywhere.   Our oldest daughter sat down the other day and synched all our calendars so that we’d have the “master schedule” on all our phones and our home computer.  Looking at the month of October made me want to take a nap. Or maybe plan a vacation for the whole month.  I kept thinking the older our kids got, the less “taxi driving” I would have to do, so the easier my schedule would get.  I was delusional.  Though I don’t have to cart my girls very many places any longer I still have to show up for parent meetings.  And performances.  And open houses. And did I mention parent meetings? Every activity here has a parent meeting.  The exact same meeting I sat through last year.  And the year before.  But I still have to go so that my student gets credit for my being there.  This year I have contemplated reciting the meeting with the teacher/coach/sponsor.  That would be rude though wouldn’t it? Once the parent meetings stop (that is a statment of faith) the games and performances start. They don’t stop until November just in time for the holidays to start.  This might be why every year at Thanksgiving I say, “This year I am thankful I survived the fall.”   I sincerely mean it every year. 

All kidding aside, as my fresh-faced excited brand new fourth grader and freshman humored their mother for yet another year’s “First Day Of School” pictures (The senior doesn’t start school until tomorrow) I got a little melancholy.  Today was our youngest son’s last first day in elementary school. I noticed that he is now taller than his “big” sister.  I remembered his first day of Kindergarten when he was so excited that he woke ME up that morning. I realized that I would never again have to buy a school box or a box of crayons. I’ve been buying at least one of those every year for the last 14 years.  It is the end of an era. Today was our youngest daughter’s fist day of high school.  I wondered where her curly piggy tails and princess backpack went.  I thought about the little fiery girl who struggled with vision problems through early grade school and marveled at the good student she has become.  I would have never believed it.  Tomorrow our oldest daughter, our second child, begins her last year of high school.  Where did all that time go?  Wasn’t it yesterday I was braiding her hair and helping her pick out the “perfect” first day of school outfit?  How did we get to ACT tests and college visits and an 18th birthday right over the horizon? Now she doesn’t want me to pick out her outfits but she’s still sweet enough to ask me if I like them.  I still get to braid her hair on occasion though.  That’s the way it works.  No matter how old they get they still need their mom every once in a while.  I intend to enjoy the last year of being her “full-time mother” before we step into the role of “still-your-mom-but-more-of-an-advisor-and-cheerleader-now”.  It’s going to go by too quickly.

It’s funny how reflective the first day of school makes me every year.  Perhaps it is because it makes me  stop and take notice of the changes in my kids that I  just haven’t noticed because we’ve been too busy living.  Perhaps it’s because everything feels fresh and new at the beginning of the school year. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that I’m tired because the alarm went off an hour earlier this morning.  That’s quite possible. I should probably take a nap today now that I’m thinking about it. The first day of school means all the info sheets and forms will come home this afternoon and I’ll need to fill them out and sign them all.  Three times.  Moms are the ones who have homework the first day of school.

TODAY’S BONUS: Obviously the administrators of our school district were bored and ready for school to start also.  This video either proves that theory or the one that says we have some really fun people working in our schools. (Yes those are our superintendents, principals and school board members.  Must have been quite the work retreat!)


2 responses to “Here We Go!

  1. I’m right there with you, the start of the school year feels like a more appropriate time to make New Years resolutions to me! Add in those feelings of happiness and sadness and who knows how I might respond in one of these parent meetings. Just keep me from chairing any committees!

  2. wedelmom says:

    My resolution every school year is to NOT be one of “those parents”. You know the ones: kid is never wrong, nothing is their fault, call the teacher all the time to complain – “Those Parents”.
    I already got volunteered to help coordinate snacks for all the band trips this year and I wasn’t even AT that meeting. I will get even with my daughter….. 😉

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