Mom's first few days of school

The joy in starting a blog about which you've told no one is that there is a great deal in freedom about what you can say.  I do plan on sharing this, eventually, maybe even today, but for the moment no one aside from myself knows of its existence.  I did tell my husband about it, but I didn't tell him what it's called.  I'm not entirely sure that he'll even read it.  He has facebook but doesn't keep up with it and doesn't really see the point.  However, he's very supportive of whatever I want to do and, after ten years, we've realized that our interest can, and do, differ widely.  The point being, I feel like I can say whatever I want because basically I'm still talking to myself.

I woke up feeling tired.  My typical two cups of coffee has done nothing to help this.  I'm just really tired.  Sometimes this means I stayed up too late last night reading (I did not do this last night as I'm not all that into the book I'm currently reading).  Or I could be getting sick... crossing my fingers like crazy that it's not that because sick mom plus three kids and their crazy schedules is just plain hard.  It's probably something else.

I'm still in the stage here that I need to decide exactly how much of my life and my privacy I want to share here.  I feel like it can be a slippery slope when you post intimate details about your family for all the dang world to see.  I may change my opinion on this later, but for now, I'm going to keep my cards (and my kids) close to my chest.

I call this blog "This is My Ordinary" for a reason (of course I did, they don't just assign blog names when you sign up).  I don't have a unique perspective.  I'm like a lot of people.  But I do have a unique perspective in that my ordinary is MINE.  It might be a lot like yours or a lot different, but it's unique in that no situation can be exactly like another.

My ordinary is this: 

My oldest is a gifted child (not bragging here, just stating a fact) who can be very challenging in the classroom.  He has a fresh out of the box teacher, which is always a little nerve wracking on a parent.  He started 4th grade (still trying to wrap my head around that).  On the first day of school his sister was sick, so my husband had to take him to school.  I asked him if he'd rather I do it and he said "No, Dad can drop me off.  I know where I'm going."  Yes, he does.  I don't often worry about him but when I do, it's in a major way.  A few times a year I'll think that I haven't worried enough and then I'll drive myself crazy for a few days until I remember that he's going to be just fine.

My middle child is the main source of my worry and I suspect this is why I'm so tired today.  She missed the first day of school because she was vomiting.  I had wondered if she was just anxious about school, but that's so out of character for her.  She started on the second day.  She's in 1st grade now and I am crossing my fingers that things start to fall into place for her.  I'm not ready to go into all that composes what's wrong with her (I don't have fear of talking about it, it's just too long of a story for today), but suffice it to say that my nerves are on edge whenever she's away from me and I worry greatly that she's keeping up with her peers.  I met with her teacher last night and he assured my that after only two days of school he could see that she would be the light of the class.  He said that the first day was much different than the second and she was the reason.  She was missing.  And he could tell.  I can't tell you how happy that makes me, that we have a caring teacher.  It's not always a given.  My daughter climbed all over his lap as he was speaking, which is a high sign of approval from her, usually granted only to family.  I think this year is going to be great.  He's already mentioned some different things we can do with/for her and some more supports we can put in place.

My youngest hasn't started at her Little One's Day Out program yet.  We have a few more weeks before that starts, so we are in a limbo time where we come home after dropping off the big kids and stare blankly at each other.  Until she tells me that she's "hungy, hungy."  She is discovering the ipad this week.  I can't decide if I am happy or horrified.  For now, I'm thrilled that she's able to navigate the screens and land on something that interests her.  She's two.

Over the summer, it was just "get through the day, please just let me get through this day."  We jam packed July and August with activities that kept me running.  Towards the end, I started aggressively worrying about the school year and making sure I had all my i's dotted and t's crossed.  It's easy to get complacent and think that you've done everything and then find that you missed a major thing.  It's stressful to worry that you haven't done enough.

When school starts, school is my job as well.  It's keeping the balls in the air and making sure that things are happening as they should.  When they aren't, it takes awhile for the information to trickle down to me.  I have to figure out how to fix things.  The system doesn't always work the way it should.  For my daughter, she's in that middle land of special needs.  Sometimes I even cringe to use the term.  She doesn't need someone there by her side at all times, but she needs someone checking in every few minutes.  It's hard to make sure that someone is.

I gear myself up to do this work just like I would any other job.  I take parent advocacy very seriously.  She's just in first grade so there is a long road ahead of us.  I don't want to waste a second because I did the wrong thing.  She doesn't need that.  With changing staff and new expectations and a fiercely independent spirit, it's a fine balance of trying to find what's just right.

Fourth grade, four fingers, yo.  He's not that into peace.

Fourth grade, four fingers, yo.  He's not that into peace.

I have done a lot of worrying the last week or so.  I think I'm tired because, after two full days of school, several emails, a parent visit, etc., I am realizing that it's going ok.  I physically feel the effects.  I can relax a little.  Until something else happens.  I am not off the hook but, for now, I've done all I can do.  I have to trust that the supports in place are enough.  I have no choice.

I started a blog because I could.  I needed to.  My ordinary is actually a little complicated and my feelings about it get ignored unless I express them.  If I can't, they build up inside of me until I make myself ill, or crazy.  I need to say these things, to put them out in the world, so I can let a tiny bit of the worry go.

I'll finish this piece with a few gratuitous photos of the first days of school for both the big kids.

 

Not the best picture of my gals but I love how little sis is looking up to her big first grade sissy.   

Not the best picture of my gals but I love how little sis is looking up to her big first grade sissy.

 

One finger for first grade.  She looks like a little philosopher though.  Hopefully that's how she'll be the whole year.

One finger for first grade.  She looks like a little philosopher though.  Hopefully that's how she'll be the whole year.

His face, my goodness.  It is complete torture to be sitting so close to his sister.

His face, my goodness.  It is complete torture to be sitting so close to his sister.

Heaven forbid they both take a good picture at the same time.  This is after I told him not to smile.

Heaven forbid they both take a good picture at the same time.  This is after I told him not to smile.