Things I Am Not Ready For: The Back-to-School Edition
1. Getting up early. Like really early. Like OMG, it’s barely sunrise early. These are the days in which I am grateful for Cool Brew (every day is a day I am grateful for Cool Brew, to be honest) because I don’t even have to wait for coffee to brew – I just fumble around for the milk and the Cool Brew and pour them both into a mug that I down within seconds of my eyes opening. In a perfect world, unbeholden to work and school, the kids would sleep from 10 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., and I would stay up till midnight and wake up with them. But when we all have to be out the door by 7:30 with everyone fed, clothed and borderline groomed, then something has to give. That something is always sleep.
2. Schedule issues. I am sure I will get used to it, but right now, Ruby’s schedule seems hopelessly complicated to me. She has P.E. on Monday, Thursday, and Friday and has to wear tennis shoes on those days, and Tuesday is swimming, which requires a one-piece bathing suit and a towel in a separate bag. She has Chapel three mornings a week and religion on another day. She has science on Monday and Wednesday with spelling tests every Thursday. It is much more complex than her summer schedule which was: Wake up whenever; bum around in pajamas while watching Netflix; eat something sugary; drink a half-gallon of milk; pull on shorts and a T-shirt, both of questionable cleanliness; and run over to her best friend’s house until dinnertime.
3. Homework. Seriously, homework can go straight to hell. The absolute last thing my 8-year-old wants to do after 7.5 hours of school is more work. The absolute last thing I want to do after 8 hours of work is fight with her about math. I’m sure it’s valuable in the long run, but right now, it doesn’t seem worth it. I am clearly no math genius, as evidenced by my inability to check Ruby’s subtraction homework without a calculator, but I would estimate that at least 87 percent of our fights are about homework.
4. Germs. Ughhhhh, I hate germs. Colds are bad enough, icky coughs that keep us all up at night are even worse and stomach viruses send me into a straight-up panic. It’s not like my kids were in bubbles over summer break, but they were definitely exposed to fewer people and thus fewer bugs. Already, just in Week 2 of school, Georgia has a snotty nose, and Ruby says her ear hurts and has reported at least one kid in her class going home after throwing up. None of this is welcome or appreciated.
All that said, I know 100 percent that education is a privilege, and I am grateful that my kids have the opportunity to be challenged, to find their passions, to learn discipline and study skills. Given what some people have endured in the name of seeking an education, it seems petty to complain about exposure to a stomach bug. I know all of this; I do.
It’s just hard to keep that in mind when my alarm rings every morning.
Here’s wishing all you parents out there the happiest possible transition back to school.