What seems, at this point, like an eon ago, each day as her Facebook status, my friend Karen posted a cryptic number. Being as clever as I am, I soon realized that the numbers were in descending order as the days progressed yet I did not know why. Finally, in a fit of frustration over my inability to determine what exactly the numbers represented, I finally inquired and was told that it was her countdown until school started. What?! It was the beginning of August. Here in the Northeast school is a September through June kind of deal…what is up with those Nebraskans?
From the moment she shared her good fortune with me I have been envious. There, I said it. She has already settled comfortably into the school routine and has, in all likelihood, been availed of the opportunity to catch her breath and (at least attempt to) regain her sanity. No fair. I am still nearly a full week away and am riddled with (a healthy dose of ?) anxiety leading into the start of fifth grade, not to mention Harrison’s college applications and senior grades which need to be kept up to (or beyond?) standard fare. Oh, dear Lord.
As if this summer has not been Herculean enough in its challenges, now I have to manage not only the wait for the start of school but the actual transition itself. Damn. While I am counting down, I might just as well count up, too.
For example, the fabulous fifth grade team at school was considerate in sending out their supply list on the early side this year (right around the time Karen’s kids were getting on the school bus) and I, in a moment of clarity and thoughtfulness, managed to get to Target before it was overtaken by mob scenes and empty shelves and successfully check off everything on the list. That’s one point for me.
Jessie’s shoes all fit. The volume of clothing she owns would put a Kardashian to shame. Her hair could use a trim, but it is nothing that a well placed headband or hair clip won’t rectify. However, in a show of pure girl, she is chomping at the bit for a few new outfits for the start of school. Of course she is. I still have close to a week in which to find some time to do a little shopping, so no points earned yet.
Harrison is well in control of his college application process having just this morning completed the common application (friends with like age children relax: we’ve not hit the submit button…) and is beginning to get mentally prepared for the start of his senior year of high school with an eye on the prize of acceptances at any of a number of schools that would be a good fit for him. I get one point if for no other reason than having had the wherewithal to hire a college coach to help us.
I’ve put money in both kids’ lunch accounts (yep, I have been known to add to one but not the other…oops), gotten Jessie a new (pink) snack bag with the threat that, should she lose it, she is shit outta luck as I am not buying another one, ever. I have begun the task of getting everyone to at least consider going to bed before midnight in a (perhaps vain) attempt to make mornings go smoothly. I have even begun hoarding snack sized snacks to drop in backpacks in the morning. I will take that as four points. I need ‘em where I can get ‘em. That brings me to six which is a stupid number – it isn’t five but it isn’t ten, either. Where to scrounge up another four points? Let me see…
Medical and dental check-ups have either been had or are scheduled. If I were greedy (and desperate) I would could that as two points, but will settle for one. I’ve thought about disassembling the drying rack from the tub which has served as a bathing suit hanger for the summer. I have gone as far as to consider where it will be stored during the non-water based season. In my world, that is worthy of a point. Two more, two more. I can do this. Oh, I know! I have not done it yet, but I am planning to input into my phone/calendar all the important dates of the coming school year (read: the early release and no school days) so I am not caught unaware…not that that has ever happened to me. And the final point will be earned when I get a chance to unload on my therapist who has been on a much deserved vacation which will, in turn, relieve both me and my family of the walking ball of stress/anxiety/short temperedness that I have become over these few short summer months which everyone else in the world other than me, hates to see end.
I anxiously await the moment when I can point and shoot the “first day of fifth grade” picture and throw it up on Facebook for all to “like”. I also have high hopes for reaping the benefits of being in a routine and, if nothing else, having six whole hours to myself during which I will be looking for a job. (Note: anyone with projects or gigs that you need someone like me to fill, I can be your girl!) With ten points in my pocket I am well on my way to successfully embarking on another adventure: the school year. To all of you with kids on the same September – June schedule as I: Good luck as your children go back to school in the next few days. For those of you who are already well entrenched in the rhythm of the school year: Time to start counting points again!