The kids started school today. We all inhale again, drawing in breath needed to sally forth back into a world of schedules and expectations. Of time. Of anticipation. Of regrets and of accomplishments.
While for many kids it’s a great, fresh time of year, I saw in more than a few young faces stress, anxiety, worry, resignation. Starting is hard. Newness can be hard. Starting and newness and change are especially hard for some kids who are smack dab in the middle of a world that seems to be thrilled by it all.
Excited or anxious, almost all of these children will be met at home, I suspect, by parents curious about how things went, asking questions and holding quiet space for their young ones to decompress, today and every day as needed or celebrating and sharing in the excitement as needed. Perhaps a little of both.
This past week I’ve been urging my kids to focus on what’s immediately ahead…that old analogy of driving on a dark road at night. Just focus on what’s in the headlights. Don’t worry about what’s beyond that point or what might be on the shoulder.
They shrugged. I assume that’s tween speak for “Great analogy, Mom, you’re quite the clever one.”
And now it’s quiet here, happily, and I am thinking about this last week of summer, which sped along alarmingly:
Just like that, we came home from the beach, freckled and sandy and overly ice-creamed.
Just like that, my twins turned eleven.
Just like that my daughter lost both front teeth.
Just like that, my son got his braces off.
And just like that, we talked about what may lie ahead for them academically and socially…the good, the bad, the ugly, and our expectations for them. A talk that will be refreshed regularly.
Some of that was in the headlights a week ago. Some, not so much. We saw things coming and handled them. One at a time. Ten at a time. All at a time and all in good time.
We have survived summer funtimes.
Just like that.