Our PFF Instructor Amanda breaks it down for us. The good, the bad, the ugly of the first week of school.
Originally posted September 5, 2018
One week down, 30+ to go. I won’t lie, I was super excited to send the kids off to school this year. #3 started Kindergarten and was more than ready to join her sisters as a full time student. #2 is super social and was craving interaction with friends other than her siblings and #1 likes the structure and routine of school and had had enough of her littlest sister. The first day drop off went well, pick up for #2 and #3 was great. #1 got off the bus in tears. A first. That pattern continued for the week.
On day 3, her teacher sent parents a “homework” sheet asking us more about our kids. One of the question was “What do you think I should know about your child?” Intellectually, I understand that she was simply asking for some basic info on my child that would make her life easier. However, after a week of silent tears at drop off and death grip hugs at pick up, emotionally I just wanted to lay it all out for her. What do I want you to know? I want you to know she is amazing. She is the best thing I have ever done in my life. She is strange and beautiful. She likes her hair parted down the middle, and her pants pulled up to her belly button. She hates ankle socks, and loves macaroni. She is the oldest 9 year old I know and has never met a cardigan she doesn’t like. She is quiet and brave. Her real laugh is spectacular and saved for things that are truly funny. She is cautious but adventurous. She worries about random things and hates to be critiqued. She loves to be by herself and finds social situations draining. She is creative and bossy. She loves to dance when no one is watching and has recently perfected the eye roll. She is a quiet leader not the steamroller her younger sister is. She is stronger than her skin and bone frame suggests and cannot say no to ice-cream. She changed my life and is one of the most precious things in my world. And every day this week I have dried her tears and sent her off to be with you and 23 other kids in a trailer at the back of the school because that is what I am suppose to do: to tell her she is brave, and that things are going to work out, and remind her that she does actually love school and her friends when all I really want to do is take her home or somehow miraculously absorb all her fears and anxiety and carry the weight for her.
Then, instead of earmarking myself as “that crazy parent” three days in, I picked up my pen and simply wrote “She likes routine and order, is quiet but perceptive and finds the strangest things funny. And she really doesn’t like being in a trailer.”
Parenting is no joke. It is not for the weak.
The physical challenges are draining and the emotional ones are unexpectedly brutal. We are called to be the holders of the hands and of all the answers. So as you look through all the smiling first day of school pictures and wonder if anyone else is feeling the pressure of new school year, new teacher, new routine, new schedule the answer is yes. As they strap on their backpacks filled with Tuesday folders, emergency care forms, and lunch boxes, we as parents strap on our own emotional backpacks in which we carry all of our children’s fears and enthusiasm and our own hopes for a good school year devoid of strep, flu and lice. Good luck to us all, and remember, you are never alone.”
Ladies. She is right. You are not alone.