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 devotion...to 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.


  1. I will keep you in my prayers Mary, especially in the coming weeks.

    I was just bemoaning to Aaron last night how un-put-together I feel so often. I mean, I had a meeting at church the other night, and yes it was informal, but I showed up in sweat-capris and a t-shirt (from college), and my hair probably had boogers in it. And what he said was a perspective I"d never given much thought. He said, "I don't see a whole lot wrong with that, you're comfortable with yourself and who you are and there's something to be said for that." And it really made me think, yeah, maybe I don't have the nicest clothes, and my makeup is rotting in its bag locked in the bathroom cabinet, and I like how my hair looks when I flatiron it but a ponytail is sooo much easier. And that's OK. I don't need those things to make me feel secure, I am who I am and that's cool. Oh sure, I wish I looked like a million bucks every waking hour, but who am I kidding. I don't know, I better stop, I"m getting really tangenty. Sorry. ;-D I guess what I'm saying is you are who you are, don't be afraid to embrace that. your temperament, personality, etc., that's how God made you. Don't compare yourself to others. And sure you (and me and everyone else on this planet) has plenty of room to stretch and grow, but don't short-change yourself and make yourself feel guilty about being "you" or about your feelings right now. Sending your first kid off to school is huge, you'll adjust and fall into a new normal, it will just take time. You are an awesome mom and you know what the right thing to do is and you'll rise to the occasion as needed, I have no doubt.

    I can identify with the committing/volunteering thing too. It scares me. I love helping out and pulling my fair share, but I don't want every evening and then some for the next 12+ years tied up with school activities, etc. It's a balance for sure, and one I'm going to be grappling with how to strike here in a year when Gemma hits kindergarten.

    I'm so happy I have friends like you to learn alongside with.


  2. and seriously, if every woman were an aspiring PTO president, can you imagine the mass mutiny that could cause?? it would be downright ugly.

  3. You know, as much as we have been preparing for school around here, you have really been in my thoughts and prayers much more. I keep thinking, "I wonder how Mary's doing?" for these very reasons you listed.
    Keep up with the mantra, and know that life will indeed even out. One dear friend said it well, "Soccer moms aren't born in a day."
    You are going to be fine as a school mama. And Ben is growing up in a faith-filled, loving home and family. He has that advantage over ANY PTO president's kid ;)

  4. Hahaha!!! Oh Ben, what a character!! And Mare, what an ol' sob!! Seriously, a show about your 2 boys could be the next big cartoon Hit!! I'm thinking bigger than Bobby's World!
    Please oh please post 1st day of school pics!!

    1. I read this early in the am today and have been giggling all day as i picture Ben being soo Overwhelmingly excited! Just love that little dude :)!
      .... And I meant sob in the adorable sense :)

  5. I don't know about you, but i tend to build things up in my mind and then when it happens, sure, there is adjustment, but it is rarely the Big Deal i have made it out to be. By September, you will be in a routine and it will be ok. I promise.

  6. "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."

    Yes, everything will be good. I know how you feel. I was there not too long ago. I hated having to send Alaina to school but now it's 'normal'. I still have emotional roller coaster feelings about it, but there is hope--it does get easier!
    And, don't worry about being anything but Ben's mom. That's all he needs.
    I'm praying for you my friend. :)

  7. You're going to do great. As everyone else has said, you will adjust. I really hated when Ira started school last year, mainly because it meant I had to get up early every day. As a person who could sleep till 10 o'clock in the morning, I hate getting up early. Blech. But we got used to it - I'm even not dreading it as much this year. Even at the end of last year, I was still "patting myself on the back" for getting the kids up and around and to school on-time. And yes, there were some days when Ruby and I took Ira to school in our pajamas (we stayed in the car, but still...) Life is just like that sometimes. Be easy on yourself and celebrate the little accomplishments! And know you'll be in my prayers as you start down this new road in your parenting journey.

  8. Sometimes the least likely volunteer to be the president ends up... I saw the pictures on facebook and figured this post would be here. I was greeting parents and kids on the first day of school, there were a few tears shed both from parents and kids. It will be fine.

  9. I wholeheartedly agree with Monica, you are who you are, and I really like who you are, so don't worry or stress too much about what kind of "school mom" you're going to be. Like Erin, I also make things a really big deal in my head but then they don't turn out to be anywhere near as bad as what I built them up to be. You are going to be a great! I will keep you all in my prayers!

  10. Okay, so I read this last week, but forgot to comment until now.

    I was really struck by this, because I can honestly relate (well, not really, because my baby isn't a year yet). The day I read this blog post, I actually had a panic attack, because I am afraid of what kind of school-mom I am going to be (always late, forgetting things, etc.) I can be insecure about responsibility-laden things.

    Anyway, like everyone else said, you are super-mom to me. I mean it. Ben and Max have such sweet hearts, and I know it comes from their Mama. I'm supposed to be on a Facebook fast, but I looked over Ryan's shoulder at pictures of Ben on his first day. My, oh my. You made a cute one.

  11. Mary, your posts always make me laugh and I find them very refreshing amidst the "perfect life" blogs I read! Let me tell you... I've had to be a "school mom" for the past 2 years and I STILL take my other kids in the car to school drop off wearing their PJs. Actually, if I"m being totally honest, I'm usually in my PJs too! And I wake up not one minute earlier than I need to in order to get to school by 7:49 am. Most days, breakfast is some kind of granola bar in the car on the way and I've forgotten to send snack on my "snack day" at least twice! You are not alone :) Best of luck with this new transition!

  12. as always ladies, and gent, you are the best. thanks for all the encouragement. we haven't been late yet! seriously, you all are the best.