Saturday, August 25, 2012

i will survive

thank you all for your encouraging words in regards to the grand school adventure. we all survived our first full week of school and ben hasn't declared yet that he won't go back.

several days ago i was talking to a friend who said that, the more her son fights doing something, she's come to realize, the more grace-filled, or trans-formative the experience will be for him. that's pretty much the same for me. i fight doing things that i know will be good for me or my family terribly. as much as i hate the phrases "just do it" and "git r done", i need to work on embracing that mentality. anybody have a suggestion for a catch phrase that embrace that mentality but isn't totally obnoxious? i like "i can do all things in Christ how strengthens me" but it's long and for some reason, makes me feel like i'm dying or in labor if i need that major of encouragement. (yes, i group dying and childbirth labor together.)

the structure of school is good for our whole family. although i very much need it, i really fight against structure. i think that i hate it, but in reality, i really like it. tim and i both are terrible about staying up much too late, but even in just a week, i've gotten better about it. i'm sure i will always struggle with it, though, because i just really love the quiet of the night after the boys are sleep.

i'm very, very, VERY thankful that tim has agreed to take ben to school most mornings. that decision came out of my meltdown the night i realized i'd missed school registration and was in tears about all of my new responsibilities. i feel guilty about all my belly-aching and all of your kind words and stories about how you drop your kids off in your jammies, because i, el whimpo, don't even have to do that bit. well, actually, i had to take him three times this week, but i'm reassuring myself that i won't have to ever do it again. tim's really good at getting ben up and going more punctually than i would. it always amazes me because a significant part of our marital strife for several years was related to tim's log sleeping in the morning hours. i would let ben sleep in later and then end up having to rush to eat, rush to dress, and rush into school. it makes so much more sense to just wake him up those 15 minutes earlier to prevent that stress, but that's never been how i've rolled-again, because i'm dumb and stubborn.  on the three mornings i took him we were rushed and two of the mornings, i didn't walk him in. tim walks him in every morning.

so we haven't been late, we haven't forgotten lunch, and i haven't missed pick up. i give myself five gold stars! one day for pick up i did have to give max a piggy back ride because he wasn't wearing shoes and several days he went in his snow boots and black knee high socks with totally mismatched clothing. it's funny that i don't mind taking him to the grocery store looking like that but am aware of it with our parish community. not that people at our parish are rude or vocally judgey. they just do crazy things like put shoes on their children and match their clothes.

alright, my time is up. if you noticed a different tone to this post, it's because i gave myself an allotted amount of time and wrote a lot more like i do when journaling than i usually do when blog writing. i am such a slow writer and it inhibits my ability to write because i just don't have time to spend an hour+ on a post. thus, also, no pictures.

thanks again for your kind words. i thank God every night for the wonderful community of friends he has provided for us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

school days, school days

tonight we had "meet the teacher night" at school. ben was, of course, so happy. every step of the school meetings way he's been so excited. last spring we had a parent meeting and all day he was so excited and kept asking when it was time to go. after the meeting, he literally skipped to the car, saying it was the best day of his life! what did we do at that totally awesome meeting? listened to the principal talk and answer questions and then his teacher read them a story. (ben is nothing if not dramatic.)

kindergarten screening=ben very happy. all summer he has talked about school. "when is summer over so i can go to school?" school supply shopping and uniform purchasing=giggles of joy. "mom, can i practice putting on my belt again? i love my new belt." there has been a count down to when school starts since the beginning of august.  i am so happy for him that he is so excited about this adventure. i can't help but smile when he smiles. it would break my heart if he were nervous about school or didn't want to go. and yet oh how angst-y i've felt this whole month.

yes, this is that post. the "my baby is growing up so fast" post. but only kinda.  my feelings aren't really about him. they're my feelings about me entering this next stage of parenting. i'm the one dragging my feet. i'm the one begging, "i don't want to go to school!!!" my baby is growing up and he's forcing me to and i just DON"T WANNA!!!!

last winter i remember reading a blog post on a blog i don't even remember, about how much she stunk at being a school parent. about how she was always late getting her son to school and he was always having to run to beat the tardy bell. how she never volunteered for anything and felt guilty about it, but just couldn't do it. about how she felt judged by all the other more put together moms. and i could see my future.

it really didn't help when i missed school enrollment. there were tears. maybe even sobs. ben is soo ready for this. i am so very not. i already feel like i have a lot on my plate. or that i'm the circus act of the lady who spins all the plates on the tall poles. at least once every couple weeks i already feel like all the plates are crashing down on me. now i get to add the responsibilities of school. crash, crash, crash.

i'm so thankful that ben's school is small and that many of the families are pretty involved. we're actually required to volunteer in some capacity for the two fundraisers that they have. but i definitely prefer to fly under the radar and avoid extra responsibilities and commitments. so on the one hand, i want to be super involved and helpful because i think it is so important. and on the other, i'm squealing in my head, "but i don't wanna!" yep, very mature i am.

tonight at the meeting ben's teacher stressed how important it is to talk positively about school starting. she talked about how it's okay if there's some crying on the first day. at first i thought she was joking about parents crying. then i almost cried thinking about how i might cry. (yes, i'm exhausted and way overly emotional.) then i realized she was talking about the kids crying. i can 99.9% guarantee ben will not cry. unless he bursts from excitement. he will not miss me. i probably won't miss him too much, as i'll still be quite busy and he really is a bit of an exhausting lil' fella. ben's biggest sadness was the realization that he wouldn't get to watch shows because of school. such television.

everything will be fine. life will settle into a new normal someday. parts of ben going to school will be great. some parts will be stressful. that's just how it's going to be.

i'm thankful ben is able to go to a good school. i'm thankful ben has a good teacher. this will be my mantra, trying to block out all my mental whining and foot dragging.

signing off,
 the least likely volunteer for PTO president.