In keeping with the b-t-s (back to school) theme, I thought I’d share with you readers the joy (i.e. woes) of preparing our family for this up-coming school year. Well, in all honesty, I just need to rant.
Late last summer, when our oldest child was heading to preschool, it was nothing but a joyful experience. We had a ton of fun shopping for his supplies, picking out new shoes (apparently flip-flops are frowned upon), trying on lots of studly new outfits, and practicing our ABC’s! It was so amusing watching him independently fill his little backpack with everything he’d need for this new journey. And it was awesome when he received a post-card from his teacher and started learning her name mid-summer. We knew he was ready and we were thrilled!
This year… not so much! The whole process is totally stressing me out this time around.
Both boys are scheduled to begin their school days in less than two weeks – Simeon in kindergarten and Solomon, preschool. Maybe it’s just because I have 2 kiddos going this year that it makes things that much more hectic. (Major kudos to all of you who are sending multiple munchkins to school this season.) In my head, it means twice the planning: e-registration, lead and dental screenings, immunizations, physicals, eye-exams, school-supplies… the list goes on and on. I kid you not; we had a straight week of appointments scheduled every single day! (You’re all parents – you know how stressful it can be taking all your wee ones to these.) THEN, you have to get all the correct paperwork sent off to the district. Needless to say, I was exhausted after that!
We’d gotten Sim’s class schedule and supply list in the mail a few weeks ago. We were blessed (and spoiled) that Grandma took us shopping for all of his necessities. We hadn’t received Sol’s list yet, but we figured they’d be pretty similar so we grabbed him some craft supplies and the traditional: markers, crayons, glue sticks, etc.
As it turns out, the list we received from the school with Simeon’s welcome packet was the WRONG supply list for his class (which I found out this morning when he got a note from his teacher). He doesn’t need that cute nap-mat we picked out along with a handful of other items. Instead, he needs a completely different line-up of supplies. Back to the store we go. (Thankfully Wal-mart has a decent return policy.)
Then, it finally dawns on me that I still have no clue who Solomon’s teacher is… or even what day he actually starts preschool. Thankfully, a friend posted a link to the supply list for his A.M. room. And with a little district website investigation, I found out who will be teaching him this year. Unfortunately, none of those items my Mom bought for him will be needed. (I guess we can return those too). We are still not sure what the start date will be, but at least we’re back on the right track. I hope.
To top it off, Simeon made this list of activities he wants to do before he starts school: go to Adventureland, swim at the beach, see a movie at the theater, go ice or roller-skating, go bowling and fishing, etc. (I’ll be the first to admit, our summer got away from us and we haven’t “done” a whole lot.) Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all of these things and my family would have a ton of fun experiencing them while making loads of memories. However, we only have 12 days left before school starts (and my husband works 10 of those days) and the majority of them cost a lot of money for a family of 5. So, it breaks my heart that we can’t make all of these happen and I hate to see my kids be disappointed. Add that to the stress tally. (Although, he’ll be thankful to know that we ARE planning to spend the day at the amusement park next week, so we can cross that one off his to-do list!)
Really and truthfully, at this point, I just want to get the school-ball rolling. As a task-oriented individual, I look forward to that set schedule (and so do my kids). Yes, I will be emotional knowing that two of our 3 babies won’t be at home with Mommy anymore, but they are both soo ready for the stimulation and social aspect of a classroom. All the stress of supplies and appointments will simmer down and it will be well worth it to see the huge smiles on their faces when they walk into their rooms for the first time. And even with the frustration of the school needs, I absolutely love this district and know they will receive a phenomenal education. And who am I kidding, Simeon is happy with just spending quality time with the fam — playing in the sprinkler and riding his bike to the playground are just as exciting to him as every other thing on his “list.” So, I just need to take a deep breath and remember how blessed we truly are. End rant. =)