Deep breath in... and exhale.
Ready or not - here we go, again.
Back to school.
New shoes are laced up, new back packs are filled with new pencils, paper and supplies, new gym clothes are washed and ready, new clothes are laid out.. in every sense of the word we are ready.
The kids are beyond excited, Parker is ready to return to the routine of the school day and Allison loves school plus has her BFF is 7 out of 10 of her classes each day. There is an excitement between them to start their 10th and 6th grade school years.
As their mom, I have my "this is going to be awesome" routine down. It's my job and, God knows, it's my wish that this be the most awesome year to date. I've done all I can to start it off that way.
You see I'm not that mom counting down the hours until I can send my kids to school. I like having them here. I like knowing they are safe. I like knowing they are happy. I like knowing I can keep them protected and smothered in love. I'd keep them here every day forever if I could. (Minus the days I could send them to Grandma and Grandpa's house because let's face it - my sanity is important too!).
The start of each new school year is intimidating for everyone, I am sure. It's a little more intimidating to special needs parents. You send your kids to school with new crayons and paper... we send our kids with detailed Positive Student Profile's and binders of "how to's" for our teams. Yes teams. Your child has a teacher, our children each have their own team. A team of teachers, parapros, therapists, administrators, advocates... basically everyone and them some to cover all the basis. And we meet on a regular basis to come together to help create a path for each child.
I'm fortunate that for Parker, who is now going to be a SOPHOMORE (insert me hyperventilating here) that his team will be consistent from now until graduation. For Allison it will continue to grow and change - but, her needs are extremely minimal so there is less pressure there to educate the team to the degree I do for Parker. That doesn't mean I worry or prepare less for her though either.
The truth is Parker thrives at school. He loves being at the high school, he has a phenomenal team. He's had the very best teachers, para pros and therapists working with him over the years to get him to where he is now - and that's a pretty good place. It doesn't remove an ounce of my worry.
Allison struggled last year with her transition to Middle School. Her circle of friends was split up she was very much alone. Her anxiety rose to new levels and, for the first time, she struggled both socially and academically. It was not her best year - or even close. She finished the year off beautifully, pulling her grades up to all A's and B's and quickly jetted off for 10 days of horse back riding at the end of the school year to find her balance again in life.
Her body is growing faster than we can keep up with, standing at 5'2 she is in few ways my baby girl but very much a beautiful young lady. It's hard to believe at 12 she is so grown up ... that will bring it's own challenges.
I'm just not ready. I wasn't ready when they started kindergarten and I'm not ready now. Time goes too fast. I'm happy with the late nights with Allison and early mornings with Parker. I'm happy with going back to bed until I have to go to work without hustling to get everyone fed, dressed and dropped off. I'm happy with friends coming to swim and play where I know everything is good. I'm happy.
I'm also still going to send them back. I'm extremely thankful for so many amazing teacher, parapros and therapists who work so closely with my children. I am thankful for their friends and for their friends' families who love them as their own. I am thankful... and I guess ready to get this school year started. Mostly because I don't have any other choice ;-)
Wishing everyone the most wonderful school year ever!