It's just about sunset on Labor Day and we begin to say goodbye to yet another summer. Fresh backpacks are filled with school supplies, uniforms are pressed and laid out for the morning. A new school year is upon us.
And The BadAssMama is a nervous wreck.
I used to get a cramp in my left shoulder every year from midterms until the last final exam of the semester. It was so tight that it would actually keep me up at night. I could never get complete relief until I handed in my last blue book of the year and could literally hear the muscles release with an agonizing pop.
While my school years are far behind me (thank goodness!), I've had that same knot in my left shoulder for the past 10 days as the boys prepare to enter their second school in as many years. Our first elementary school was amazing, but faced financial problems and scaled back to only serve the preschool years. So here we are on the eve of another school year preparing to start anew at yet another school. We've done our homework. The credentials, financials and overall culture of the school are incredible. We've had more communication from the headmaster, head of the lower school, school nurse, Pre-K and First grade teachers in the past week than we had from any other school in an entire year. The boys are ready and excited to start their next chapter.
So why am I so nervous?
I worry that Victor won't like his classmates. Will he complain that everyone "bothers me" like he did every day of summer camp this year? Will Angel continue to thrive academically, like he did with his incredibly kind, patient and gifted kindergarten teachers, or will this be the year that his ADHD prevents him from achieving? Will I be able to be an active school participant with the travel and responsibilities of my new role at work? Will they like their teachers? Will WE like their teachers? Will the school be a fit? Will my children thrive there?
I know that worrying doesn't help anything. I know that my children are bright, curious, friendly, outgoing, brilliant and kind. I know that their teachers will grow to love them, if for some reason they don't fall head-over-heels the first day.
But I can't get rid of this damned cramp in my shoulder.
Perhaps this is the pain of the next phase of parenting. The torture-victim exhaustion of the baby years have passed. We've become more confident in our ability to keep them alive and provide for their most basic needs. They have become more independent, less reliant upon The Hubs and I for their every need and as their primary form of entertainment. Now the challenges are a step removed - more emotional than physical. As they become more independent little humans, we can't protect them from all the stubbed toes and hurt feelings of the world. Can't hover in the corner to jump in when they can't figure out a new word or soothe their souls if they are picked last for freeze tag. They are beginning to venture out into the world alone, and this simple fact of life is terrifying to me.
I know full well that my job as a mother is to help my children become the best possible versions of themselves, and to prepare them to live independently in this crazy world. I also know that they are well equipped to take this next small step into big-kiddom as a new school year begins.
I'm just not sure if I'm ready yet...