Back to School & Such Tragedies

The Calendar

It was bound to happen. Every year when the kids go back to school, one by one, they come home with the sniffles, sore throat and fever. One by one, they break down, and while I try to protect myself from their germs, I inevitably succumb. Today was that day.

And while I’d love to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head, I have a business to run, inventory to tag, and orders to fill. When the kids come home, they’ll need help with homework, they’ll need to get to Scouts and Theatre class, I’ll need to feed them. But that’s the deal, right? I’m the mom. Even with hubby around and fully capable, it always seems to fall on us moms.

We have so much to keep track of. So much to remember. There are three kids, so three sets of papers to go through each day. There’s the back-to-school pictures, which inevitably cost about $50 per child, and somehow always come out looking like my kids have just gone through a wind tunnel while eating Doritos. Then there’s permission slips for field trips. There are reminders for volunteers – per school, per classroom, so that’s always a fun “you picked him over me” or “why can’t you come to my class?” Here’s why, “BECAUSE I HAVEN’T YET FIGURED OUT HOW TO SPLIT MYSELF IN THREE!

With so much to remember, I sometimes feel like I’m a walking around in a constant state of subdued chaos. I always feel like I am supposed to be somewhere. I always feel like I’m forgetting something – did I respond to the Bake Sale request? Did I get back to my daughter’s teacher about the classroom decorating club. Did I pack her water bottle and dance shoes? Do the boys have their Scout books? It’s so much. So much.

I keep meaning to plan a dinner party at my house; invite all our friends for a night of wine, dinner and great conversation. Then, I look at the calendar, and the days are completely filled. And it’s not like I over-extend my kids with sports. They literally all have 1 thing each season. But when you have 3 kids, and they all have 1 thing, you’re talking 3 nights/week at a minimum. Toss in my boutique fundraisers and there goes most Friday nights too.

By the time Saturday night rolls around, I’m exhausted and lying on the couch with my husband. My eyes are on him. I see the words coming out of his mouth, I know he’s talking to me. But my head is in a million different places. When is Patrick’s project due? When does girlie have her spelling test? I know I need to focus. I need to be present. In the moment. I get all that. And believe me, I really want to be focused on this man and his thrilling re-telling of his client meetings, site design and engineering projects.  But my brain…just…can’t…

I realize that this time in my life is going to be over in the blink of an eye, and believe it or not, I know I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the crazy, wake-me-up-from-a-sound-sleep panic attack, wondering if I forgot to invite my daughter’s bff to her birthday party. Well, maybe I won’t miss that, but you get the point. I know these days will be gone before I know it, and I’ll look back and ache for them.

So, for now, the calendar remains on the fridge in our kitchen, color coded by child, birthdays and events. I’ll try to remember it all.

Maybe I’ll schedule myself a day off. I think I have an opening in November.

 

Written: 2017

 

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