As we begin to prep our little ones for school, we are probably thinking back to the days when we as kids were preparing for school. I remember one year, my Aunt Linda took me clothes shopping. Before this point, I never got to go out with my parents to get school clothes or supplies. They just appeared at our house and I packed my backpack and got myself ready for the first day of school. It never mattered to me who my bus driver was, though I already knew, and she reeked of stale beer. What mattered was that on this occasion, my Aunt Linda took me to get school clothing which included a dress from JC Penny with a red shirt underneath, my most favorite outfit ever. It was the best adventure for me as far as getting ready for school of my childhood at that point. My favorite Aunt and I going to the mall. Now, as a mom, I see the worries that my parents had getting my supplies and getting my clothing. I now know why my mother was so happy to get us on the bus as well. I just hope that my children have happy thoughts of time planning their school years when they get older.
So as today ebbs on, I will begin my thoughts on tomorrow, tomorrow will be Monday and I will place my usual phone call, “Who is my driver this year and what time will the bus arrive?” At 1pm my children and I will be going to the school to skip meet the teacher to meet the teacher. Autism makes it impossible to attend meet the teacher with both of my children. The noise, the sounds, the smells overwhelm them. As I think about the new school year, I think about the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful TIme of the Year”. It loops over and over in my mind as I think about the time is nearing to put them on the bus and send them back to school. It is when the smell of new crayons makes one happy and the thought of sharpening pencils is fun. I know that some parents are going to be sad that their children are going back to school or that they are going to school for the first time, but I imagine that there are some parents like me that happy to know that freedom during the day is on it’s way. So the juggling begins, the normal juggling that you get used to during the school year.
Nothing that we do or say is going to make our juggling seem less. I am a parent of two children on the Autism Spectrum. I have to take my children to 258 therapy appointments per year. That breaks down into 3,072 therapy hours a year. Countless meals, doctor appointments, school events, band concerts, and the list keeps going. Field trips, field trip money, Speech therapy at school, and cookies, cakes, and pies. School Improvement Council and other committees kick up and on top of that, classes of my own. The juggle will begin. It’s when the juggle ends that we feel like all is lost, we feel out of sorts. We search for things to do. I know, strange. So am I happy to get back to school juggle back? Yes, because that part of my life makes sense. Everything is scheduled down to the second. Summertime is chaos because it is not scheduled down to the second and kiddos are at home and many left to their own devices may shave your dog, burn down your dog house, or cut their sisters hair all in the name of experimenting. Now that we are venturing back to school, extreme boredom can be replaced by homework, study guides, and projects. Our back to school schedule will return and things will return to normal.
As the beginning of the school year draws near, fall is not too far behind, football has already started (Go Gamecocks!), and the lazy days of fall are upon us. I wish each one of you that reads this post a wonderful uneventful school year. I pray that you have great teachers, great relationships, and that you as a parent stay on top of what is going on in your child’s classroom without living in your child’s classroom. Volunteer, even if it’s from home, and support your teachers and education when budget season comes around. Good teachers are not made, they are born, molded, and taught. We have to support our good teachers. We have to support our support staff, we have to show them that we appreciate the time that they spend with our child and let our children know what we expect of them for the school year. Laying down your own expectations for your child is better than expecting the teacher the entire job of giving the expectations. There has to be a balance between school and home. By supporting and expecting certain behaviors from your child, you are support your teacher. It’s that time of year again and I can say that I’m almost ready and have been practicing my happy dance. Now to totally wake up and get moving, where is my coffee?