the whole family is going back to school

2018-0825 OBT_Blog Post_back to school.jpeg

She is going back to school this week,

and she's excited.

She is going back to school this week,

and we're excited.

We, all of us, are ready to slide back into routine,

to feel a bit more grounded,

to have parameters.

And also, we, all of us

are nervous.

Her nerves: new classroom, new teacher, new mix of students, new

expectations about who she will be how she will be how she will show up.

Our nerves: packing lunches, breakfast table slow-down, back-to-school night, will you please

bring paper towels, sign up to volunteer, sign the permission slip, complete the book order,

show up show up show up.

She doesn't eat breakfast the first day.

"I just can't."

The first two weeks are

intense.

She is

tired.

We are

too.

At school: happy, engaged, kind, using every iota of emotional energy she possesses.

At home: distressed, bored, demanding, unable to cope with trauma like the couch pillow being in the wrong place.

We are

naively

surprised again this year.

Note to self: Mark your calendar for 2019.

Going back to school is a lot of work.

For everyone.

Mark your calendar so that your evenings and weekends are more open

but not too open

if you can.

Mark your calendar so that you get enough sleep

if at all possible.

Mark your calendar so that you have space to be present or listen more or read from chapter books for hours on end.

Mark your calendar because

big beginnings take a lot of energy

for first graders

for twelfth graders

for all of us even now just think of the big beginnings you've had over the years in your work in your family in your living and How Much Energy those take yes?

Mark your calendar

to remind yourself you

will all need to be gentle

to be kind

to yourselves

to each other.


So many transitions tend to happen at this time of year. And transitions need space. The writing above is how I was reminded of that a month ago, when our daughter went back to school. (Yep, it's year-round school)

Even for those of you who don't have children living in your house, that Labor Day shift is almost upon us.

We might all need a bit of extra space.