If it’s been almost a month since I blogged, it must be back to school time! (or May. Or there’s a crisis. Or I don’t feel like blogging. But in this case, it’s back to school).
I know for moms everywhere back to school is crazy, and for teachers everywhere back to school is crazy, but it’s a special brand of manic exhaustion to be a teacher mom (not to mention with multiple children). Every year from the 2nd week of August until roughly mid-September, my family goes from 0 to 120mph, literally overnight. It seems like every. single. night. my husband and I are brainstorming tomorrow’s schedule of how to get 3 busy teenagers and 2 educators to their respective obligations (with 2 cars, I might add).
But every year, we figure it out, albeit with some help from our village.
Every year, it also gets just a little bit more exhausting. I honestly can’t figure out if it’s because I really am feeling these mid-40s years, (age is no joke, people), or if as the kids get older, they have more commitments. Next year will be a good litmus test, as we’ll be down one child after we drop our oldest off at college (more on that in a minute).
This year, however, there was a noticeable decrease in the nightly dinners with 5 people around the table. We were more frequently missing at least one, if not two or more, children home for dinner. We capitalized on this by trying to take the remaining 1 or 2 kids out for special “Mom and Stepdude” dinners.
As you can tell, the girlchild was simply thrilled with the personal attention.
Despite the crazy schedule, I did squeeze in some fun friend time; one of my goals as my children get older, life gets crazier, and my work obligations get more demanding, is to not neglect my friendships. While I don’t wish a personal crisis on anyone, there is no better reminder of how important a support network is like a divorce, sick child or other stressful life event. These ladies have been with me through the ups and downs for nearly a decade now, and I love them to bits.
Even if they do argue over who has to stand next to the tall blonde one when we do group pictures.
Then there was the actual first day of school (August 24th for us). This year I have an 8th grader, 9th grader and senior (!). It’s my last year with children spanning more than one division at our pk-12 private school, It’s the first year for the middle child to wear khakis instead of navy blue.
And of course, it’s my oldest child’s last first day of school. At some point this year, I will do a blog post about what it’s like to parent a senior in high school, after twenty years of educating them (I began teaching 11th and 12th grade English in August 1997).
Spoiler: I’m not nearly as prepared, or chill, as I thought I would be.
my oldest manchild, who is now more man than child.
First day of school, years 9 and 11 for us at our current school (although I beat him by several years in overall educator tenure).
There was also the Upper School pre-Eucharist chapel tie lesson for my middle guy. In the middle school, they have clip-on ties for Thursday Eucharist. When you graduate to the big kids, you have to learn how to put on a “real” tie. Three years ago, my husband stood in our kitchen and taught the eldest this life skill; this time around, big brother helped (although stepdad had to lend his voice of experience).
So, here we are, September. Next week is the “worst” week, schedule-wise: we have Upper School parent night (which doubles as work night for us), then 2 days of Upper School retreats (all 4 grades go away to separate locations with faculty chaperones for class bonding activities), 2 field hockey games, 1 football game (aka drumline performance), and then my middle guy’s 15th birthday.
And that’s just next week.
But hey, I’m still doing that triathlon on September 24th (gulp), and putting together a race schedule for the rest of the school year. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on my marathon training plan query – I will definitely be running the marathon at a run-walk, just still not sure what plan I will use (will do the long runs at my run-walk ratio regardless of plan).