The first week of school has a double hit for me. Yes, the kids are headed back to their respective institutes of learning and the pestering about bedtimes, alarms and homework begins. But the start of school is also when our house transitions out of the summer – one parent at home, the other working to both parents working again. Two big transitions out of summer for the price of one.
So in addition to getting the kids into a routine – or back into a routine, G and I have to get back into a routine of balance of tasks, of schedules, of to-do items around the house, etc.
A great example? Today we had no more items in the house for lunches for the kids. And because of how the week has gone and the scheduling of things – neither one of us had a chance to remedy this before this morning. Thankfully having $7 to toss at the kids remedied that issue.
Communication about dinner is another area of fun. Change of plans, conversations had in our head not with each other – left a few meals left to be tossed together at the last minute. Thankfully I thrive at impromptu meals out of the pantry.
There is a management class I took years ago that was talking about team formations – how when you bring more than one person into a team, you have to go through stages as things get sorted out, etc. Form, then Storm, then Norm, and finally Perform. As this person explained, this is not a one direction situation – you can go from Form to Norm, back to Storm, then Form, to Perform. The idea is to recognize something has triggered the shift to another state – and work through it accordingly.
I think even if relationships – we all go through this as situations change – even transitions from one state of affairs to another – like school starting. G and I had a norm that is back to storm, meaning we have to bump into each other, bump heads and find/define the new norm so we can get back there again. It’s the nature of things really – just can make things interesting until it gets past it. Lots of punting and impromptu readjustments until then.
As for the kids – well, they are adjusting. DJ’s little melt down before the first day has shifted to “this is so cool” or excuse me “it’s so chill.” She is enjoying the independence of it all. She is enjoying the classes and the teachers. She is making new friends and finding more and more kids there she already knows. So far, she has been cornered by a guy she’s been in taekwondo with since the start (6+ years now) because “I think I saw you in the hall the other day”. Yesterday before taekwondo, she got a text from a guy she was friends with from camp – a year ago – because “I saw your hair and thought it might be you but didn’t want to approach if it wasn’t – do you go to XYZ high school too?” Yep. It was her. Then in true DJ fashion, she chastised him for not coming over and saying hello.
DJ and I are finding a rhythm too. She goes to school blocks from where I work, so some days she feels like taking public transportation – and others she may as well swing by and get a ride home especially since I’m doing taekwondo duty now. We have had to talk about safety on public transportation – harassment and other fun topics. I mentioned to a friend yesterday about SB being concerned and giving her something to provide advantage, if you will. She launched into a lecture about an article she read about a woman finding it empowering for her child to let him ride the subway alone at age 10. She missed my point (not shocking really). I pointed out that as a Mom who has ridden that train line for years, I know the harassment she is going to be exposed to – and while I am not putting her in a bubble, I am also not happy that in order to find independence, I must allow my kid exposure to that shit – shit no one should have to go thru. Lastly – I’m Mom – I get to worry, at least privately. She conceded. *shakes head*
Indigo is rocking middle school. She is in her element there. She loves the kids – she loves the new teachers – she loves being in middle school. Good stuff. She is actually so “whatever – it’s fine” about school, that I don’t get the hour long brain dump I get from DJ each day. Funny how that works.
Regardless, we are off. A new year – another year – good times ahead.
As for me, I’ll be sitting back, sipping wine, holding on to those who are my rocks, and watching the amazing sunset that will unfold as my kids get older and continue to transition from one age to another. It will be quite a ride, I’m sure.