By: Stephanie Ryan
Back To School – We have been seeing the advertisements for weeks now. Store aisles packed with notebooks, crayons, pencils and all of the regular school essentials. The checkout lines, longer than ever. Most parents are very excited to have their children back to a “normal” routine. Their children showing signs of irritation as the parents seemingly dance around filling their shopping carts.
Our home has been filled with many emotions when it comes to back to school time. As a parent, I am like many others – happy to get back into the normal routines that come along with September but also saddened that our summer days have come to a close. I miss the spur of the moment daily adventures – endless, sun-kissed smiles – late-night giggles – lazy pajama days.
The most excited in our home- to be back to school is Jack. The oldest child, a self-proclaimed pro – after completing just a year in Elementary school! His anticipation and excitement leading up to the announcement of his teacher assignment and then finding out his classmates kept him at an all-time high for the end of August thru Labor Day. This same child was the one vomiting on his own sneakers in school, DAILY, for what felt like FOREVER screaming MOMMY every time I left his side last year. But this year he happily posed with his “First day of First Grade Sign,” showing off his freshly cut hair and excitedly skipped to the bus stop. I let out a sigh of relief as he happily got on his school bus and headed to school.
The two preschoolers are another story! Each one a bit more attached and have had some issues with separation in the past. They feed off each other, which is so hard – they each take the others worries and make them their own at just 3 and 4 years old! They have no reason to not be comfortable in their school environment. The love & care their teachers have for them has helped them get through the challenging first days. I have no doubt in my mind that this year is going to be amazing for all!
The days start to get shorter and the nights longer……getting off the bus, running home to homework and the numerous after school events and activities all while fitting in a (somewhat) healthy meal and early bedtime. I have had a schedule prepared since July – adding my work schedule in there 2 days a week for the first time in years, a first-year of religious education classes, speech classes for the preschool boys…. all of which couldn’t be possible without the help of our “village”. There are no words to show the appreciation that I have to everyone that comes in contact with my children to help keep the wheels spinning in our home. From a daily babysitter to neighbors, to my own parents and family members – without them all, our lives may easily spin out of control!
As you can imagine, I am a huge planner – and I carry an old school mini calendar to keep me on task. I also have a weekly planner board on our kitchen wall to help keep everyone on task with what is going on daily and to show the menu for our meals each night. When something happens that messes up the norm, I try so hard to stay calm and figure it all out. Staying calm is a trait I lack, but that’s where my husband always comes in and saves the day, every… single… time! Illness is the biggest culprit when it comes to confusion in our home! Getting that dreadful call from the school nurse or having a child wake up with a fever in the middle of the night during the school year. Our pediatric group is another huge part of keeping our wheels turning. With walk-in hours in the AM, telemedicine visits from the comfort of our own home, and doctors that open their schedule for my children’s needs during after school hours- I can’t ever thank them enough. I couldn’t be happier to be an Allied parent and I’m grateful to have each doctor, nurse, and employee as part of my village.
Since the summer days have dwindled, I reflect on enjoying those last minutes of soaking up the sun and encouraging my children to do the same. I have my books ready for school night reading for each child. I look forward to all of the thrills of this school year ahead and watching each one of my children grow, learn and change. Here’s to a year of health and happiness in your new routines! Always remember, it takes a Whole Village to raise a child, be a part of that village!
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