This year, I’ll have a sixth grader, a second grader, and a last year before kindergarten preschooler. I’ll have three kids, at three different schools, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit scared about what that’ll mean. The drop off doesn’t throw me, that’s easy. I drop Sam off just after eight at the school, Jessie can either take the bus from there (there’s a stop across the street from her elementary school) or I can bring her to school when I get back. Julie gets dropped off last (and she’s only there twice a week). It’s the pick up that panics me – I’m also picking up Sam’s two best friends (one of them at a different school), and between that and the drop off at various afterschool activities – I fear my afternoons are going to be a mad dash across Worcester and back. And then again in reverse.
But – such is life with busy, happy kids, right?
(last year on the first day of school)
I stress over stuff like this – worrying about how we’ll pull it all off. I’m probably a little extra aware of it now, because I watch Jessica do the same thing. Last night, the poor kid was so stressed out because we haven’t bought her locker stuff or a band uniform and she still has to find two examples of fractions, decimals, and percentages. I hate watching her work herself up – and then I remember that she’s been watching me do it all her life.
So – I’ll stop. Breathe. Remember that my kids are watching my every move, and my actions matter so much more than my words. I can tell her a thousand times to stop worrying over things, and not stress out about things that she can’t change or control – but the more I freak out over how the schedule is going to work and how am I going to manage to keep it all together… the more my daughter learns to doubt herself and her capabilities. Or worse, just learns that living in a constant state of elevated anxiety and tension is normal.
So here’s to calm. And peace. And confidence that I can pull all of this off. There will be times when I’ll be late to one activity or another, and there will be days when the whole schedule will be shot to hell because of weather or puking kids or unforeseen circumstances that I can’t predict. And that’ll be okay. More than okay – this is the start of a really cool time in our life – Jessie is starting middle school! Sam is seriously ensconced in elementary school – no longer a newbie, afraid of what’s coming next. Julianna is actually asking when preschool starts, because she WANTS TO GO.