Tag Archives: back to school

Roots and Wings.

I was thinking long and hard about what to write about this week, and the only thought that came into my brain was back-to-school. I tend to write about the happenings of my life, and the return to September, and now October, routines have been at the forefront lately, as I’m sure they have been for many of you.

This year was a bit different for us, as it was the first year of “nothing new.” We didn’t move, or switch schools, or have my work schedule change. The logistics of our life look essentially the same as they did last school year, so we knew what to expect from a timing perspective. My son entered grade three, and my daughter started into Senior Kindergarten. In Ontario, the Kindergarten program is two years long, and starts the year that a child turns four years of age. Back in 2014, the Provincial government rolled out full-day Kindergarten to replace half-day and alternate-day programs, so my daughter began full-time school last year, at age four. It was rocky.

Not having been a daycare kid (my husband and I have managed to work opposite hours so that one of us could always be home with our kids), she did two years in a three-mornings-per-week Preschool, to get her prepared for Kindergarten and used to the idea of being away from home, and most notably, away from me. Her and I have a special bond and she’s a mama’s girl through and through. Last year, all year long, even into June, she would be teary at school dropoff. “Mom, I don’t want to go to school, I just want to be home with you.” Oh, how she broke my heart.

We tried everything- special necklaces, “kissing hands,” pictures from home, notes in her backpack, meetings with the teachers. We were always told that her days at school were happy and settled, and she was always all smiles at pickup time; but more often than not, she would cry at dropoff. I would pull myself away from the school gate each morning and stand out of sight, watching her cry and wipe the fog from her little glasses, and I would cry too. I would walk back home alone and feel like a monster for the better part of the morning. “How was your day, sweetheart?” I would ask at pickup, “Great!” She would exclaim, oblivious to the torment that she’d put her mother through yet again. The daily text thread to my husband read something like this:

Me: Tears again. I’m dying. This is THE WORST.

Him: She’s okay hon, she’ll get through it.

Me: Why are we doing this to her? She’s only four! Four year-olds should be with their mamas. It’s nature!!!

Him: Her days are good, it’s just the first few minutes. She’ll be okay.

Me: I am the worst mother. My HEART IS BREAKING.  Sob…..

Okay, so I have a touch of drama up my sleeve. But honestly, watching your child cry while knowing that you can’t help them, is quite possibly the world’s worst feeling. If you’ve never been through this with your children, you may not understand what I’m talking about, and you probably don’t think this is quite the big deal I’m making it out to be. But when you’re in it, let me tell you that it’s a very big deal. I’m a bit of an attachment-parent, kind of on the hippie side of the scale- my kids regularly sleep in our bed, I nursed them both into toddlerhood, and I was a regular baby-wearer, so this child-away-from-me stage of life does not feel natural or normal to me. We have very carefully constructed our life to have me closer to our kids. This school-aged-transition was as hard on me as it was on her.

Fast forward to this year, and I was expecting more of the same from her. Through the Summer she spoke about how she was going to miss me when she started school and flashbacks of dropoff haunted me. And we have had more than a few tears over the past few weeks, but I’m happy to report, we’re on a streak of six consecutive cry-free dropoffs. She’s grown and matured, she’s gained independence, she’s built confidence, and I can see a different kid when I send her into the playground in the mornings. She wants to be there. The reluctance to let go of my hand is lessening, the quivering lip is all but gone, and the vulnerability of her foggy glasses has disappeared. Maybe she’s ready. Maybe I’m ready. I’m not sure how it happened, but we’ve turned the page, and my baby grew up.

roots and wings

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September: we can do it.

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Guys, I’m not going to lie.  My world has been rocked these past few weeks.  The September transition is always a huge one for our family, and this year it has been even more amplified, as 3/4 of my family members (one husband, two children) headed back to school.  For me, that’s meant a huge increase in my work hours and a big shift in the everyday life I’ve known for the past several years.  And all of this whirlwind of change has happened very suddenly, after the adventures of Summer.  Whew.  I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and mentally drained, emotionally fragile and physically exhausted.

I know this will pass.  I know it’s the transition that is the hardest part.  But when you’re in the eye of the storm, it’s hard to see through it to the blue skies on the other end.  We’ll get there.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, truth be told I really debated whether or not I should share this stuff online.  Part of me craves privacy, part of me wants to keep up a stoic facade, but the bigger part of me wanted to let you know that I go through this stuff too. This struggle in particular, I want to be public, because I know so many of you are going through this with me.  Change is hard, and when you couple change with parenthood stress it can seem unmanageable.

I’m looking inward and focusing on me, and that’s what I’ll continue to do until this chaos passes.  I’m still running, I’m still going to the gym, I’m still focused on my nutrition and my sleep.  I have learned that I need all of these things to function at my best.  And in periods of stress, I need them more than ever, albeit I’m getting them in irregular proportions.

Take care of yourselves so that you can continue to give all that you can.  Times of stress are not times to skip taking care of you, they are times to prioritize taking care of you.

If you’re going through this transition at your house too, hang in there.  We can do it.

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The Last Time

Well, we survived our move.  Today’s post was written at my desk, looking out an upstairs window into my new front yard.  Life is good.  And yes, I still have this:

101 Ways to Cope With Stress-1

Today is the first day of school for many of you.  A shift in routine from the lazy, hazy days of Summer.  Back to alarm clocks and getting-out-the-door and packing lunches.  It’s back to routine for us at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic too.BSAS Logo-2  Regular hours for practitioners and staff and regular schedules for patient appointments. Give us a call at 289-351-0301 to get back on track with your treatments.

My six-year-old son starts Grade One today, so there’s a subtle turning of the page in my house (and a whole lotta tears; all mine, not his).  It’s caused me to be very reflective on how exponentially fast the past six years have gone.  It was not that long ago I brought him home and held him in my I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing arms, and here I go, dropping him off to Grade 1.  So to all of the new parents with young children, not yet involved the back-to-school rush, who are feeling like the days are long but the moments are short, have a read, cuz this one is for you:

The Last Time
~Author Unknown

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feeding and burping,
Whining and fighting,
Naps, or lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget…
There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed your baby
for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip,
then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.
One afternoon you will sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’
and do all the actions,
Then you’ll never sing that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your
last dirty face.
They will one day run to you with arms raised,
for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
until there are no more times, and even then,
it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them and
when they are gone,
you will yearn for just one more day of them

For one last time.

school-bus1

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