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Back To School: Mama Drama

Written by

Guest Blogger Schelle Lenssen

Yesterday morning, my soon-to-be second grader asked me how many days were left until school started again. I wasn’t sure and opened up a calendar and together we counted. I was more than a little surprised to see that the bulk of summer is already gone and the first day of school will be here in a few short weeks.

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Along with the realization that time keeps ticking away, my giant mental to-do list hit me like a flood. Suddenly, I had a million unanswered questions running through my head. How’s that summer reading list going? Where are the backpacks? What school clothes still fit? Did I remember to sign up for fall sports? Where should I get PE shoes? Why does everyone in this house need a haircut? Do I have to sign up for the PTA again or do I have a lifetime membership? Why haven’t we gone over math facts, practiced piano, or done sight word drills in six weeks? Sigh, so much for a relaxing end to summer.

This summer has been fantastic. We’ve had a great mix of big activities like camps and roadtrips as well as relaxed times of strolling through the farmer’s market and picking raspberries until dark. But as much as we’ve all enjoyed the summer, I think we’re all feeling the draw of fall and the comfort and structure that we get with a school-year routine, and getting back to that routine will take a bit of work.

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In theory it shouldn’t be that hard. All I need to do is pick up a few school supplies, shoes, and a handful of new clothing items for the kids, right? In practice these tasks take approximately 4.5 million hours with a total cost of about 1.2 trillion dollars. (I may be exaggerating slightly. Only slightly.) Inevitably I will need to visit four stores in two different towns just to find the correct pencils, glue sticks, and dry erase markers on the school supply list. The PE shoes I buy online will end up not fitting correctly because somehow, like magic, my daughter’s feet will have grown three sizes in nine weeks. An inventory of my kids’ dressers and closets will reveal they’ve outgrown nearly everything that was in respectable condition, and what does fit has torn-up knees or stretched out neck holes, making a shopping spree worthy of its own reality show a, well, reality.

The same calendar and counting-down-of-days that got my daughter so excited, has me nervously biting my fingernails and running to-do lists and budget numbers in my head. These next few weeks we’ll cram in some summer school prep work, do lots of shopping, and try to get to bed on time. I have no doubt it will all get taken care of and everyone will be ready for the first day of school, it’s just going to be a bit painful to get there.