Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to School

It was a cranky/anxious back to school.

For Daisy, starting fifth grade and her last year of elementary school (uh oh), it's anxiety around her academics. She's painfully aware of what has so far been her lagging math skills, which I attribute to being young for her grade.

For Violet, starting second grade, the anxiety is around change. She's also a naturally cranky person who hides it pretty well in public, until she sees her mama.

I'm feeling optimistic about this year of school. As I reminded Daisy, she's had a major shake-up every school year so far. At the beginning of kindergarten, I became unemployed during her little sister's chronic illnesses and attempted a home business. In first grade, her house was tore apart and in major construction for a long, long time. In second grade, her parents split. In third grade, she adjusted to life in two homes with parents struggling, her mom on bedrest here and there with stress-induced health problems. Last winter, we moved from the apartment to the condo, when I was so busy with work that we lived out of boxes for months.

This year, I told the girls, is about building from a foundation. Not fixing. Not recovering. Just growth.

And Violet may always be cranky, but I do want to help with her anxiety. Recently, in a typical big sister torture moment, Daisy made the pronouncement that Violet has only a few years left to be a kid. Violet pulls me aside frequently to say, "I don't want to grow up. Can I live with you until you pass?" Of course, but there's no numbering of days necessary at this time - for anyone - got it?

I continue to work on a smoothly running household for my daughters, a task they make both challenging and crucial. I will never be the parent who keeps the tight schedule of sameness, but I'm working on a rhythm that supports them well.

The daily rhythm involves food. That's why I put my little managers to work making school lunch lists for my grocery shopping.

I'm down to my bedroom and garage to finish from last year's move. My mattress is on the floor but it's going to elevate to its rightful position any day now. Promise. There is probably some symbolism there but whatever. Focus is the next step.


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