Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Navigating the Waters of September

I don't know what September looks like at your house...but here's what's been going on at mine.

From the moment that we round the bend on our walk home from school, my fifth grader, third grader and preschooler, kick off their shoes, grab a snack and immediately start prioritizing which homework needs to be tackled first; assessing which tests have to be studied for; analyzing the best window to sneak time in on that Social Studies project in the midst of shuffling off to football practice, ballet, swim team and music.

And we're all tired.

Because the truth is, it takes a while to get adjusted to a new homework regimen, teacher expectations, extra curricular involvement and what it means to stay focused on school work long after you've left the building.  And with each new grade comes a progression of information that requires all of us to try and breathe and trust that with time, routines will morph, the brain will absorb, the will power will rise up and the yelling will dissipate.

But I forget and so do they...

And so in the midst of the management or lack there of, we get short with each other, we say things we don't mean, we project our stress and we fizzle out.

If I had to guess, I'd predict that the whole deal has been the hardest with Sam because as the oldest, he and we, right or wrong, hold him to a really high standard.

He is hard working, extremely bright, bears the weight of the world on his shoulders and is as interested in pleasing his parents as he is in learning the material and having a general curiosity about the what the hell is going on in fifth grade.

And man, the boy has a shit ton of homework.

So when I watched him walk out of the doors of school this afternoon, I could see so much of me in his eyes and in the back pack strap he clipped around his waist for extra support.  It's just a lot.

And I'm conflicted because academics have always been extraordinarily important to me.  A love of learning and a strong work ethic is honestly, a bare minimum.  But in the same breath, I'm also trying to remember that he's 10.

As we continue to navigate this push pull relationship of working harder than we have in the past and letting go of the reigns to teach him how to be more accountable for his success as a student, I say, here's to time on our knees as parents.  I've prayed so much in these last few weeks for grace, for peace, for trust that he won't need extensive therapy because I've jacked him up.

And here's to our little ones just trying to do the best they can while maybe getting time to throw the football or the frisbee or to build in Minecraft or to ride their bike or to lay in the grass and stare up at the sun before it's dark by 5:30pm.

Here's to all of us making it through September.

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