In the Northeast all the kiddies went back to school this week. I officially have a 7th grader and a 4th grader.
When did this happen? It literally felt like just yesterday I was standing in our front yard with my son in his kindergarten shirt and my curly haired daughter still in daycare.
The day was met with a little sadness. Not sadness because my babies are going to school. But sadness because literally life is going by so quickly. Sadness because I was once again reminded how disconnected I am from most people – mothers – my own age.
I had our son when I was 21 and my daughter when I was 24. I was, am, a young mom. I’ve always known this but it only really occurred to me at their birth and at times like this when I see how old my kids are compared to other people my age.
I’ve never been one to compare myself to others because I’ve always lived off the beaten path. But most mothers my age are sending their kids off to school for the first time. They’re worried when the bus is late to drop off their kids. Their kids held up signs showing their name, grade and what they wanted to be when they grew up. They packed the “perfect” lunches and picked out the “perfect” first day of school outfits. Pictures of both mom and dad, maybe even grandma and grandpa too, sending their kindergartens off to school.
It hit me just this year how far past all of that stuff I am.
My kids still went to school, despite the lack of first day of photos posted or even completely new outfits. Despite the lack of sappy caption to go with said picture. Despite the fact that I said fuck it, and put money on their accounts instead of planning out a week’s worth of meals that I know they won’t eat. I waved them off from my living room in my pajamas. While I’m not worried about the bus dropping them off late, or them not eating all their lunch, or even my son getting to his classes on time. I am worried about the late bus not running for the middle school this week because I can’t just up and leave work whenever the district can’t get their shit together.
I was so worried about the late bus situation that I sent the boy to school with the pre-paid “dumb phone” we got for them in case he needed to be picked up. (Glad I did, the “soccer meeting” was 15-minutes long, right after the regular buses dismissed and there was no late bus) I worry about who is going to be home for my daughter when my son has to try out for the school’s soccer team next week and I have no clue what my work schedule looks like to even attempt to plan it. I worry because these first few days are not planned. I worry because my “village” keeps getting smaller and smaller. I worry about how I’m going to do it all because of course soccer tryouts are the same day as normal soccer practice, and the “Meet the Teacher” night, and the kids have to be fed at some point.
But I always do. To my own surprise usually. And I’m always applauded and met with “I don’t know how you do it”. Little does anyone know how much frustration it takes to get to the place of everything getting done. The cries for help that are met with “okay but…”.
It’s easy to post what is so amazing about these first days of school. The hope of great teachers and the anticipation of a great year of learning. It’s a lot harder to admit all the frustrations that happen when school is back in session.