Another Back to School

When summer starts it seems like we have so wonderfully long until school starts again. Then, as the days and weeks slip by the new school year gets closer and closer until finally we’re in the spot we’re in now – the night before the first day of the school year.

No matter how much my kids complain or how many times my kids say they don’t want to go to school – the night before the first day is always exciting and frenzied. Tonight was no different.

Two days ago my youngest son informed me he didn’t care about what he would wear to the first day of school because that wasn’t until Thursday (two days is a long time when you’re 11). Today, at 9:30pm he informed me he was completely ready, but he needed jelly because we are out. Apparently, telling me that when we were actually in town didn’t seem necessary.

My daughter has spent the entire summer planning and re-planning her wardrobe. She’s done fashion show after fashion show as she tried to make new outfits with different pieces. This fashionista will probably be the death of me. Tonight she said “Mom, I need to start being beautiful all the time so the next time you get paid we need to go get a makeover, okay?” Uh, hello – you’re 11 not 16.

For my oldest, this is old hat. But, there is still that flutter of excitement and the picking out the clothes, shoes, things for the locker. He wants mechanical pencils only and tabs in his binders.

For me – I think “How did my children get to be so grown up? Why did we sign up for a 7am class? Why do the kids count how many food items they have in their lunches? Will the socks they need to wear show or can I get away with mismatched socks?” and so much more.

There are so many things I want for this school year – and the least of them is academic success for my children:

  • I want them to grow in Christ daily.  More than anything I want to see the Word of God in my children’s lives.  I want them to have complete faith and to witness to others with their actions each day.
  • I want them to be a true friend.  I want them to be the person who sits with the new kid.  I want them to forget about who is wearing what and just hang out with someone who might need someone right now.  I want that to be sincere and not because their mom told them to.  And, I want it to happen without me needing to say it.
  • I want them to experience all aspects of school.  School isn’t only academics.  People can learn at home on their own and be the smartest person in the world.  There’s a lot more to the school experience.  I don’t want them to just play sports, but also be in band.  I want them to play different sports each year just to see if they like them.  I want them to remember that ‘hanging out’ on the grass to be cool isn’t as fun as taking pictures for yearbook or volunteering for charity projects.
  • I want them to stand up for themselves.  I hate to see the struggle between letting someone ‘cool’ be unkind to them because they are afraid saying something will make them even less cool.  I want them to understand they are strong and they can be cool all on your own.  People will buy into it if you believe it.  Not to mention, most of the people who thought they were cool when I was in high school, have learned that life doesn’t care if they are cool.  Life cares a lot more about kindness and hard work.
  • I want them to remember SCHOOL IS FUN.  I want them to enjoy their days at school.  At the risk of sounding old – there are people in other countries who don’t have a chance to get an education.  I want them to enjoy the learning, enjoy studying how the body works and what cells do, enjoy learning how to write poetry and build bulletin boards.  Enjoy this life you’ve been blessed with!

Football Newbs

It’s been three days and my oldest son is still alive. This week is Hell Week for football. Football is a new experience in our house. I’ve always sworn my kids wouldn’t be allowed to play because I value their limbs and their brains too much. But, Dad gave permission and so here we go.

I have been praying hard all summer that my oldest son would change his mind about this sport I fear. I overheard his little brother telling him “Look, if you play and you don’t get hurt or killed – Mom will probably let me play. So, just play really great, okay?” Yes, do not get hurt or killed. In fact, neither would be just fine by me.

But, here we are. I went to the parent meeting. I signed the form that had all sorts of possible injuries (including DEATH). My best friend said to our boys “Go get your football costumes and then let’s go!” Costumes – do we sound like newbs? Of course, when my son informed me he needed to buy a chin guard I said “do you need a cup?” He shrugged. Being ME I went and asked the coach. He and his son chuckled at me. Um, it seems to me that MOST boys would think that was the most important gear. Apparently, I’m wrong. And, also apparently, that is embarassing…

When we got home we forced the boys to try on their gear so that I could have a good Instagram/Facebook photo (duh!)

Bright and early Monday morning I drove my boy out to the field and watched him walk to a group of very large and very rowdy boys. Some of them look like full grown men. I wanted to stay and watch, but I didn’t want to embarrass him so I pulled away and went to work. I drove back to pick him up in time to see some hitting drills. I still don’t understand how it’s fun, but I also am not a boy so I suppose that makes sense.

Today we had some work to do at the school. My husband took all three kids to help. When I showed up my oldest said “Mom, I’m tired. I don’t want to scrub.” I said “I understand you’re tired, but you have to finish.” I looked over a few minutes later and this is what I saw:
This kid scrubbing, but on his back and laughing so hard because he finds himself amusing.

So, we’ve made it three days. Everyone is still alive. I’m sure it will all be fine. But, we’re newbs. It’s yet another adventure in our crazy lives. I wonder what’s next?