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Back To School Haze

What happened to the lazy days of summer with kids returning back to school after Labor Day? Now they’re going back to school at the beginning of August, seemingly on the heels of the disappearance of June gloom! It feels as if summer is just beginning, and yet I’m buying binders and backpacks...

I have very mixed feelings about sending the kids back into another school year. I truly enjoy having them home, without the overwhelm of schedules and time lines. I love having a break from the frenzy of grades and tests and "keeping up." I know, as we all know, that it’s important to have a healthy routine and structure for kids, but the beauty of summer to me is the shift of the have to’s. I guess I just wasn’t quite ready for that to come to such a quick halt. I think the quickness of time passing has me contemplating the ease of loose schedules...

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are so many kids that get excited about going back to school to see their friends, pick out their school supplies for the new year, and shop for back to school clothes, even parents relish in the structure of the school year. I do too, I just feel like the years are passing in hyper speed. Every parents school experience is very different, mine included. I contemplate about what the school year ahead holds. Is there going to be a lot of pressure when it comes to homework? Will they have friends to sit with at lunch? Will they make good choices. Will teenage angst go easy on them ?

Some of my kids experience a lot of anxiety about the return to school. They struggle with getting up, having things completed and prepared, feeling motivated to succeed. I do wish that I had the kid that got up and was excited to go to school but, I don’t and that’s okay, I just have to manage things differently with him and work harder at keeping my cool! I guess it’s an “opportunity for growth” ugh...

In my many, many years of doing this, I can say with certainty that it isn't getting easier, however, I have learned that planning ahead, getting enough sleep, asking lots of questions and getting involved, make the growing pains less painful. Basically all of the stuff my mom told me that I didn't always listen to was true. Sometimes out of our own angst we make the simple complicated. Slowing down allows us and our kids to see what is before us.

I pray for a safe, inspiring, joyful new school year ahead. May we all anchor in our faith in ourselves, and keep our palms open in helping others whose anchors aren't quite as secure.

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