In less than two weeks, my family’s world will do its annual cartwheel as we shuffle our children back to school.
And by shuffle, I mean we will be challenged with juggling chainsaws while roller skating on a tight rope.
Why would you need to know this?
Because I may not be at my best for a few weeks.
I will be multi-tasking my work responsibilities while also multi-tasking the responsibilities of getting a high school senior and a last year middle schooler up and running for the next nine months.
Yes, the school supply lists have been available for weeks now. Probably. I actually haven’t even looked. Printing them puts a stamp of finality on summer and I find myself pushing it off further each year.
Not that it matters much anyway. In past summers, I’ve printed, priced, and purchased the lists verbatim well ahead of Labor Day only to have the first week of school bring out a whole new list and additional trips to the office supply store.
I’ve learned it’s just better to wait and panic shop after dinner at some point when we all wish we could just settle in for the night.
So, I’m sorry if I’m late for a meeting. I’m likely distracted by the ‘Add to Cart’ button on Amazon while standing in an aisle at Target wondering why they don’t carry an oddly specific type of composition book.
There’s something about the first weeks of school and getting them right that creates the belief that if we nail September, we’ll nail the rest of the year. So, yes, I’ll be meeting teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, school staff and the bus driver in hopes of solidifying positive relationships.
This isn’t to say I’m micro-managing my kids’ lives. But I will be known.
I will be known as a mom who is available. A mom who volunteers. A mom who supports our educators and wants to hear how I can make their lives easier. I will be known as a mom who will bend over backwards in thanks for spending hours each day with my two teens and their quirks, senses of humor, occasional attitudes and, in one case, unique smell.
So, I apologize if I forget an email attachment. I may have inadvertently sent it to the Latin teacher instead.
I will be adjusting to the latest schedules, both during school and after. Our weekends will change. I will be figuring out where part time jobs reside and when soccer practices and games will land. I will be tracking who is driving whom where, when and how. I will be modifying wake up times, dinner times and bedtimes.
At the start, I will be driving the Oops Taxi. My car keys will be at the ready for delivery of forgotten papers, signatures ,and gym suits. Only at the start, until the mulligans expire.
After that, my work response time will edge back to normal. There will be less unanswered ‘Are you there?’ pings from my colleagues.
I will be there. Yes.
But just give me a few weeks to settle this tribe back in.