Thursday, August 30, 2018

School Daze

It's 90 degrees out here in Pennsylvania and many of the kiddos have headed back to school. Summer seems a million years past already. For me it flew by despite my attempts to hold on tight. Normally, I'm okay with the start of school. I'll even admit that by the end of August, I'm usually looking forward to it. But not this year.

This year I was kind of dreading it. My youngest son was starting 7th grade, which for us is the beginning of middle school. I don't know why this affected me so much. Maybe it was because it meant two years until high school and driving and graduation and … wasn't he just two years old? Yes he was! And today, TODAY, he turned TWELVE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love you infinity plus infinity even though you don't want me walking with you to the bus stop anymore.

As if that wasn't traumatic enough, this year my daughter graduated high school, and she was accepted to her dream college. The one that checked all of her boxes, the one that barely squeezed into our budget, the one that was ELEVEN hours away. It was the one that started in the middle of August. I knew the goodbye would be hard. I did. But I didn't think it would be so hard. As a divorced mom, she lived with her dad part of the time. I was used to her sometimes being away. But "away" had meant around the corner, and I still saw her on my "off" days when I picked her up from high school.

I'm not going to lie - the first few (several) days after she left were really hard, and I cried (a lot.) Nobody prepares you for hard it's going to be. At least nobody prepared me. But a few things got me through:

1. Knowing my daughter was/is so happy in her new home. Thank you FaceTime for letting me see her smiling face!

2. My friends who put up with my daily crying updates. I owe you!

3. The timing of having to revise my manuscript for my agent. Nothing helps take your mind off the blues like a hairy-handed, piano-playing, white-van driving, werewolf alien kidnapper!

Both kids are now settled into their school routines and my school daze is starting to lift. We are adjusting to new normals with our own unique and creative spirit … going after dreams and navigating new territory. And we're celebrating milestones. We have back to back birthdays in my crew. Yesterday my daughter turned 18. And yes, I cried. Happy Birthday!!! I love you and am in awe of the strong, independent woman you've become.

Hugs to all the caregivers lost in a school daze, and I hope all of the big and small children in your life have an awesome school year!


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