The phrase ” back-to-school” feels much more like a call to battle in our house than a call to education. The worry, stress, and to-do lists tend to overtake the last days of summer until there is little joy left, and it feels like a countdown to something harrowing. Or at least it does to me.
I have many friends who don’t feel that way. Some of them had little countdown widgets on their phones and started buying supplies in June with sweet anticipation.
Facebook feeds flood with “Pinterest-perfect” pictures and “My name is and I am aspiring to be…” photos. Statuses range from “FINALLY! I am so ready for routine!” to “I am going to miss my baby so much!” and it all comes together to bring us the most emotional day of the year as moms.
If you don’t have kids in school yet, you have your own set of emotions about all your friends’ Facebook posts, the ridiculously long lines to buy pants at your local discount store, and all the OTHER moms who stop you in the aisles, carts heaped with paper and pencils, glue and backpacks, shoes and jeans, and graham crackers in cute little bags. Sometimes they say, “AWWWW, I remember when Suzy Jane was that little… enjoy it! Soon she will be going off to school!” I remember being the preschool days mom. Well, sort of. I KNOW I was… Oh sheesh, it wasn’t that long ago but, no. I don’t really remember. I have been too busy sharpening a million different pencils. Or maybe I am just losing brain cells from the Sharpie I have been using for 7.2 hours to write their names on every.single.thing that will enter the school so that hopefully I will only have to replace it once this year.
Whatever your feeling about back-to-school time, though, one thing is certain: kids grow up. they go off to school (or you homeschool, in which case back-to-school is a whole other ball game). They learn to drive. They go to college. They DATE (YIKES!!!!). They get jobs (we hope). They stop being kids. They start being adults. One step at a time, one milestone at a time. It happens.
Moms, you have the hardest job in the world readying your own Suzy Jane for an uncertain world. This year as we all go back to school, let’s remember how hard we are all working to see our kids through the scary hallways of school and on to the path of life. Let’s remember to go boldly before them and be their cheerleaders. Let’s be the mom who stops and helps a lost kindergartner tie his shoes or offers to wipe up spilled milk in the hallway for a teacher. You see, we will all feel more brave if we remember we aren’t doing this alone. We have each other’s backs.
Let’s go back to school bravely. Together. One more year…at a time. 2 days down…178 more to go.
Kayla Wells was a member of Bigfork MOPS for 4 1/2 years and served on the steering team for 3 years. She is married to Dan and is a mom to three. You can find her at Mommy’s Soapbox.