This year, my littlest is off to kindergarten. I don't even know how that happened. Just yesterday, I was buying leggings for her chunky little baby legs on Etsy and now...she wants jeans from Justice and her PBTeen backpack is the best thing to happen since Christmas.
The big kid is off to great places...third grade. I am so excited for him because that's really the grade where I remember big things happening and learning about the world and how it works. He'll be reading some of my favorites like Charlotte's Web and Percy Jackson... It's such an exciting age.
I think the hardest thing for me about my kids going to school is the handing off of the baton. At school, everything I have tried to teach them-about respect, kindness, when to be silly and when to be calm- it all gets put to the test. And yes, they are not perfect, I don't expect them to be. But now there are witnesses who can attest to whether or not my children are what I secretly fear them to be, actual little tyrants sent from the clouds to torture me. But, I digress. I know they are just fine and they really never mean any harm. My kids are by far not the best children but let's just say I have been lucky enough never to be at the mercy of a Target aisle meltdown. Probably because they know I would quickly walk away and act like they weren't even mine. They'd know we could just meet up in our meeting spot- the boxed wine aisle. I've taught them well.
But how do I get through the panic in my chest when I realize these children aren't really aren't just mine? They are their own people now.
I just have to remember that their teachers are also women I consider to be dear friends and I know they are kind-hearted people who will chuckle when my kids "say the darnedest things" and call me if they really have a problem. I trust them to give my children grace but to also set standards that will pull the best out of them.
The most important thing I know in my heart is that all the other mothers out there are having mixed feelings as well. We are all relieved that summer heat and boredom is over, but also sad that another few months of relaxed schedules has come and gone. We are all excited for the challenge and invigorated by our "organized command center" Pinterest pins and our promises for meeting homework deadlines...and I think a little relieved that even though we know our attempts at organization are probably fruitless... that we will all be just fine in the end. At least, that's my hope anyway.
As I always do when I am feeling anxious or like I am alone on my own little island of worry, I turn to a book for comfort. For the stories of other mothers who have been there, done that, or had it worse, and even reading about moms who have it way better is sometimes still fun and makes me smile. That's what got me thinking about this list of books for us moms to read during the back to school season.
Here's a short list of stories that give me more perspective, or just a giggle right when I need it most as I stress about my kids going back to school and growing up faster than I ever imagined they would. Hope you enjoy!
Big Little Lies
Where'd You Go Bernadette - Just a mother who may be losing her mind and a daughter that is sweet, smart and can only begin to imagine what her mother is up to next.
Prep - Just exactly how far will certain kids go in order to get into the best schools? You'd think an acceptance letter is worth more than a winning lottery ticket. This will make your stress over the next bake sale seem like child's play.
Five Days Left - A mother fighting a terminal illness, a middle teacher who has adopted one of his students... just a really heartfelt story that is good for the soul.
The Glass Castle This is one of the most poignant memoirs I have ever read. it just really stuck with me- a young girl and her siblings are forced to basically raise themselves in dire poverty because of abusive and neglectful parents. Wells eventually leaves her family and becomes a successful writer but its her perseverance and hopeful attitude that makes me admire her and her story so much.
As I finished this, I was pelted in the face with a mini marshmallow from a PVC pipe marshmallow rifle. Is it August 17 at 8:00 a.m. yet??