A new school year is upon us. Summer has a funny way of dragging its feet and flying by all at the same time. Every year you will see the moms who were losing their minds at the end of July boo-hooing in the Target school supply aisle come early August. Myself included.
Summer feels never ending.
Until it ends.
But it’s hard to focus on saying goodbye to summer when there is so much excitement leading up to a new school year. New grade, new school, new teachers. Dare I say new Kindergartener? Cue all the tears. Seriously someone hand that mom a tissue. She’s going to need it. The new school year is a complete mixed bag of emotions for both the kids and the parents. Stressful but exciting all at the same time.
And can we say overwhelming?
Just when you finished searching every store for that damn unicorn of a 120 count spiral notebook, that no one makes by the way, you start getting flooded with the emails and signups and papers filling the red folder that last week sat empty on the counter.
Suddenly there you are with the smell of sunscreen still permanently embedded on your shoulders, setting your alarm again. You’re busy organizing the pantry snacks and trying to remember your kids lunch code. All the anticipation for the first day. The outfit is hanging. Shoes are laid by the door. To-do list on the counter. Because you know after a whole 10 weeks off who is going to remember that your kid needs a water bottle!? But really, to-do lists just make everything seem more organized and official. Honestly they make me feel like I’ve got my shit together. Which I do not.
Next up is the yearly back to school photo. You bribe up and down for a smile. “Just stand there with your sign. Ugh come on! How do you still have waffle crumbs on your face?? Is that really your smile? You look like an extra in a horror film. Smile normal. That’s not normal. Your sign isn’t straight. Come onnnn I spent 3 hours writing on that sign. Hold it up. Say cheese for grandma. Ok, that will do. Hurry your about to miss the bus.”
And just like that they’re off.
You’ll walk around your house aimlessly. Not sure what to do with yourself because hello! What the heck is this free time you are experiencing. Look at your watch. 10 minutes down. Ok…find something to do. So, you sit. And you think. And that’s where I always get myself into trouble my friends. The thinking.
Will she know which hall to go down?
Will she be hungry because she didn’t eat enough?
Did her shoes really fit or was she just saying that so she could wear them and she’s going to end up with a blister by 10 am?
Will she be too shy to introduce herself?
Will she remember to take the bus home?
Breathe mama. I’m going to tell you a little story.
It’s the first week of school. Mini is to ride the bus home every day. She knows that. I know that. The bus driver knows that. All on the same page. The bus comes at the same time every day. The driver told me she might be a minute or 2 behind this year because they added one new stop right before ours. No problem. I planned to get out there a few minutes early regardless and wait. That first afternoon I run down to the stop a couple of minutes early as planned. The regular drop off time comes and goes. An extra minute or 2 goes by. I look at my watch and I can feel that kind of antsy building up where you start to feel hot and your insides go to mush. It’s the first day I reminded myself. The buses most likely pulled out a few minutes late because everyone is figuring out where to go. No big deal. 3 more minutes pass. The sun is beating down on me and I am in a full panic at this point.
GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF DANIELLE.
She knows to get on the bus. The school is literally 5 minutes away. She will be here in just a minute. But then 2 more minutes pass. It’s been too long. Where is she? What happened to my baby? I just want my kid!
Bring me my kid!
I’m refreshing my emails every 10 seconds looking for an email stating the bus will be late. Nothing. All the “what ifs” are swimming in my brain. I feel it coming over me and I know that I am about to morph into a full fledge panic attack where I either A) shit in my pants at the corner of my street or B) call the school shouting jibbrish because I know I won’t be able to find my words.
And then I hear the rumble of the bus. And her sweet, sweet bus driver waving with a huge smile. And she comes bouncing down those steps.
“Hi Mama! I had a great day.”
And suddenly I am calm. I can see color again and the sweat stops dripping. I grab her hand in mine and lead her towards the house. Just as I suspected in my one clear thought standing out there on the corner, the bus was just delayed while everyone figured out where they were going. Typical first day of school stuff. Literally not a big deal.
But in that moment it was a big deal.
It was a really big deal.
I find that lately I am stressing out over many things that are not in my control. I am letting the thoughts in my head get the best of me and allowing them to take over. And then I had a thought. My kid takes the bus. The bus is supposed to get to my house at a certain time. Sure add a few minutes because things happen. But that is the plan.
I need to trust the plan.
I need to trust that the plan I have in place will be successful.
I need to trust the system.
I worry all the time that no one is going to help show her where to go. Or help her in the lunch line. I worry that she won’t know how to play the game in PE. But there are plans in place for that. There are teachers, and helpers, and people put in place specifically to be there to answer her questions. To help her move along.
There is a system. And I have to trust that the system will work. When I lose trust of the system I start to battle the “what ifs”. And they can take over my thoughts. So for every “what if” I have had this week I remind myself of the system in place. The system the school or I have provided and instilled. And I remind myself to trust it.
And I remind myself to not let my brain spend time clouded with darkness and negativity.
‘The world is not out to get me. I can be calm.”
Literally say that to yourself 10x every morning after you brush your teeth. Change your mindset. It will help..
So, now go. Fill the backpack and shine the shoes. Take that adorable back to school picture. The crooked sign only makes it cuter. Trust the system and relax mama. It’s going to be a great year.