Back to school…. This can mean many things for kids and parents alike…Excitement, anxiety, fear, joy, reprieve (like break out the mimosas, I don’t have to listen to them fight all day!), and much more. I know in my household the kids and I had mixed feelings of excitement for the new, but anxiety for the unknown.
Our sweet little boy always acts like a complete pain in the rear right before school starts because he struggles with transition, plus he is used to hanging out with older kids, and he is top dog in his school this year. Also, quite frankly, while he is a whiz at sports, school is really hard for him and the anxiety of it tears him down. He landed in Mommy’s lap last night and finally talked about why he had been freaking out- how great summer was and that it was over; his older sports friends weren’t going to be in his school; and sitting, reading and writing just aren’t his thing. It was one of those rare moments where we both sat down, and he let me hold him and comfort him, because he knew I would always be there. I hold onto those moments knowing they only get fewer and farther between.
Our middle daughter is starting Jr High and will be in the same school with her sister… again, having more older friends than friends her age because her sister’s friends are cool like that. She was nervous, but showed a sparkling confidence that I admire in her. When I walked out of my room, she was up and ready, donning my favorite accessory of hers; a huge, loving and genuine smile.
Our oldest….she is a perfectionist. She had troubles in school early on and a few health issues, but pushes to be the best in all she does. She accepts nothing less than perfection from herself- so starting school and dealing with a sports injury has her about as stressed as it comes. She has an amazing group of carefully chosen friends by her side, but will still call me “Mommy” and allow me to hug her (too cool to hug back) when her stress starts to peak.
As for me, today, I am home, alone (except for our 3 snoozing dogs). It is quiet. Very quiet. I miss the house load of kids running through my home telling me random stories. I actually miss the loads of laundry from taking 10+ kids swimming or having a water fight, food fight, mud bath or whatever shenanigans we came up with. All of them knowing, just throw your towels and clothes in the laundry room and it will get done. I miss making lunches for the whole crew and being amazed at how much 13 year old boys can eat! I know that the bonds my kids and I made with the families who shared that time with us are a blessing and the fact that I now have about 3 nicknames from those knuckleheads must mean they are comfortable hanging out at the Snyder house.
I was so anxious, possibly even more so than they were, taking my kids to school today, but as I sit here writing, all I can think about is how much fun we had this summer, the blessings of strengthening relationships with old friends, and building relationships with new friends. How I really didn’t even care how crazy my house got because the laughter far outweighed the mess. With a huge smile on my face in this time of reflection, I know more fun is to come with sports, activities and new adventures. That is what Back-to-School is- a new adventure! Adventures are met with uncertainty, excitement, anxiety, joy and fear, so whether you take the day the kids go back to school to celebrate not having to pay the summer babysitter, read a book, head to work, clean the house, drink your mimosas, or just take a nap, the adventure has begun and it can be a great one! Afterall, a little adventure is the greatest way to learn and grow!!!
I can’t wait until 2:45 when I can pick up my babies and hear how their new adventure has begun!