Back to School, A Parent’s Fresh Start
“Back to School,” the three most complicated words in the parenting lexicon. Expectations for a new year of growing and learning are always high, and a fresh chance at a great start is refreshing in a world that is exceedingly moving towards one strike, and you’re out. Some parents are so sad that summer is over while others have been camping out with their kids in front of the school like it’s a Best Buy on Black Friday waiting for the school to offer routine and structure and a daily break from the chaos…neither approach (or anything in between) is wrong, everyone’s situation is their own, each family dynamic is painted and framed in a design that is unique.
This year we have been so ready for a fresh start. Ready to slide into cruise control for a bit and let the sweet and soothing sounds of routine glide us down the highway a bit. Last school year started with uncertainty and anxiety with my Dad’s sickness; we were full of hope and grateful for dad’s vigor, strength, and positivity in the face of unbelievable odds. We were also very aware that any bad turn could become very serious very quickly, and that’s what happened.
October began and ended very differently, Dad was traveling and speaking as the month started and would be in the hospital by month’s end. The next 2.5 weeks were the last we shared with him, holding on to each moment, even the hard and heartbreaking, as greedily as a child holds to a new toy.
The months that have followed were not as hard as losing my father, but they weren’t any easier. Grief is like that, it’s sneaky, and in your face, it’s an earthquake and bumpy road, and most of all it’s hard to pin down and impossible to schedule.
It’s like a foggy morning, you know where you are going when you get in the car, but you take it slower, you leave some extra time, and you hope the sunshine will break through…
And that’s where we are, we are ready for hope and freshness, not because we want to forget or move on, but because we want to step forward and gratefully embrace the sunshine. That’s the only way those who we have lost would want us to move forward, arms open and hearts willing.
So whether you are spending these first days of school weeping at the end of a wonderful summer with your kids OR celebrating poolside the hard-earned break that has finally arrived, you deserve it, and your kids deserve the best you, hopeful and refreshed and engaged and willing.
No matter what circumstances brought you to a new school year, greet the unique opportunity with the same sentiment your kids welcome each new year of school, HOPE.