Back to school week is always a hectic and eventful one, especially for us parents with multiple children; between finishing up last minute shopping, getting uniforms and school supplies ready and going back to the routine we tend to feel overwhelmed and often exhausted...
Well.. this year wasn't any different and it was especially challenging for us since Iggy was away on business and I was left to tend to three kids alone during a week where their needs seem to be twice as many and my energy is almost non-existent.
Oliver started back on Monday and cried at drop off for the first 3 days, which wasn't so bad. He slowly remembered his classroom, teachers and school playground. He had a hard time waking up in the mornings and I had an even harder time shortening our morning cuddle sessions. I am confident, however, that Oliver loves his school and is already learning so much from his daily interactions with other kids his age. I really love watching him grow up before my eyes and I enjoy how much he learns on a daily basis. Such a smart little boy!
Because there was a solar eclipse on Monday, the girls got an extra day off and kicked off the week on Tuesday instead. They were equally anxious and excited to start 3rd and 5th grade;they were up really early and ready to go way before I was which definitely isn't the norm.
I am thankful that my girls are mature beyond their years and they are always the ones that calm me down and reassure me whenever I'm feeling sad.
Surprisingly enough, I was feeling a little "blue" on this back to school week partly because I realize that time is precious and that even though these moments are forever imprinted in my memory, they are definitely ephemeral and intangible.
As Gaby starts 3rd grade I can only see success ahead of her; she is such a strong minded girl who always achieves whatever she envisions. But just like I see success, I also see many challenges because Gaby can be very lazy at times and I know that this year's expectations are higher than other years. It's hard to let go sometimes, it's hard to let your kids fail so they can learn from their mistakes but I know this year I will be faced with such choices and I'm going to have to push Gaby to give more than she feels comfortable with... God help me be strong for this little one!
Olivia started 5th grade, which is her last year of elementary school. This year she was invited to participate in an advanced math program where she will attend math class with 6th graders; I reluctantly accepted because I know she needs the challenge and she has worked so hard for it but I will admit to being really nervous about the pressure this will put on her. This school year Olivia will be responsible for carrying an iPad and doing most of her work electronically; she will also have her own school email address and won't be getting constant reminders about tests, homework and projects and instead she will be on her own when it comes to schedules. It will also be the year when most kids get "mean" and "cliquish" (we already saw some of that last year) and the year where she gets to try out for sports despite the fear of being turned down for something she really wants to do.
She has been very vocal about her anxiety about middle school (next year) and about how she will handle all of her new responsibilities, social pressure and emotional challenges. She's the kind of kid that wants to do it all and wants to be great at everything (overachiever much?) but she is also very sensitive and that's what makes me really nervous about this year.
I am praying for wisdom and humbleness for both of us.
So this year I'm feeling the "blues" and experiencing all kinds of emotions about my kids being back in school. I can't believe Olivia is closer to high school than she is to kindergarten and I also can't believe that all my kids are already in school.
I feel blessed to be able to send them to Catholic school and I am confident that this year will be a great one despite the challenges ahead!
God please continue to light my children's path as you see fitting!
Happy Back to School week!