Back to School: The Joy & Anxiety.

Can you hear that?

No, it’s not the sounds of silence, instead, I have an ADULT tv show unforgivably roaring in the background while I type, because that’s how I roll when I’m kid-free. Silence gives my mind too much space to, ya know… think. 

With both of my kids in school full-time for the first time this year, I have a full-plate of to-dos that I’ve put off all summer. Thing about summer with a 5 & 8 year old? They no longer nap, and they like to be… get this... entertained & shit. If I heard “I’m BORED” one more time, I think I would’ve burst into flames. By the end of the summer, I was spent. Let’s just say that the new fancy-pants iPad I received as a birthday gift doesn’t have many of MY fingerprints on it. 

So when the first day of school hit yesterday, I thought I’d be SO ready — feeling something like this: 

first day of school

I mean — I had been singing “And Moms & Dads can hardly wait for school to start again…” since mid-JULY!

What I wasn’t ready for? The insane amount of first-day-of-school anxiety I had to fight through… rendering me more like this:

anxiety girl

My youngest went to Preschool 5 afternoons last year, which meant I spent most of the school-year in my truck shlepping kids back & forth to school… I shouldn’t feel anxiety, I should be celebrating over beer with the hubs that we SURVIVED THE SUMMER!! 

Instead, I started worrying about random shit I had zero control over… My youngest not eating her lunch, or not speaking up when she had to go to the bathroom, or not knowing what classroom to find her sister in at the end of the day… did she eat enough breakfast? Would she cry? Would she make friends? Would she pass out from heat on the playground? Would she actually nap at nap-time? Or whine about being forced to sit still? What if this… what if that… what about my 3rd grader? Maybe I should worry about her too?! Fuck me, my brain sucks. 

So after a morning of trying to keep myself busy, I met the hubs for lunch — and we picked the perfect bar to visit: Logan’s Alley had Greenbush Brother Benjamin on tap — one of my current FAVs!! So I put a little alcohol on it, and looked more like this: 

photo (39)

And after putting a little alcohol on it, my afternoon went a little better. I ran some errands, put a little caffeine on it… and then it was already time to pick up the kids.

Wait… WHAT?! 

That’s right, friends who wondered what I’ll do all day now that my kids are both in school full time… the kid-free time ALWAYS flies faster than you think. Even though I suffered through massive anxiety about it yesterday, I was hardly bored. I haven’t been bored in almost a decade! Seriously, why do people ask questions like this? I’ve never asked questions like this… I don’t think I ever asked anyone that question even before I had kids.

What do I DO all day?!
What do YOU do all day?!

Trust me when I tell you… whether my children are with me or not, I’M NEVER BORED. I love my blog, I love my freelance writing gigs, and I love to sing & play music… and that’s the “extra” stuff. I have plenty of every day bullshit to deal with as well. My plate is full, bitches. 

But back to the school-pick up, because I know you’re on the edge of your seat wondering how the girls did, and if any of my anxiety was validated. 

My youngest exited school with her Kindergarten class, instead of with her sister, she saw me before I saw her & ran like the wind into my arms & almost knocked me over. She practically exploded with joy and said she had a GREAT day!! YES!! WIN! 

Together, the 2 of us waited another 5 or so minutes for her 3rd grade sister to exit the building. When she did, my oldest also ran to me, but her face was white, and I could tell instantly that she was on the verge of tears. She didn’t say a word, but she grabbed her sister’s hand, and I asked if she was worried she lost her sister. She just nodded her head. Knowing exactly where her heart was… I told her everything was good, it was over, we were together, and if that happened in the future, to trust that her sister would likely be with a teacher.

On one hand, it was refreshing to know that she cared that deeply for her sister…. especially after the amount of fights I had to break up this summer! However… I am bummed that she’s inherited my anxiety. 

When the 3 of us arrived home, the girls worked on their homework, and my precocious 5yo asked me “So, how was it having a break from us today?” 

And just like that… I came face-to-face with the reality that my kids are growing up way too fast.

How are your back-to-school adventures panning out? And who wants to meet me for a lunch-beer? 

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