It’s happened now for the past 5 years. June comes around and the rush of celebrations, end of the year activities, thank you notes from students, championships, swim parties, plays, recitals and awards take place and … I get nostalgic. Pictures and schoolwork hanging on the walls of my kids’ classrooms are taken down and suddenly I am so sad to not see their teachers and classmates anymore.
Before I reached that sentimental emotion this year, I realized the outrageous disparity between the beginning of the school year and the end.
Um… Does your school year look anything like this?
At the beginning of the year I made beautiful, healthy lunches in clean eco-friendly lunch boxes filled with tuna salad sandwiches, fresh cut fruit from the garden, organic snacks and of course a treat of some sort and a smiley face note: “Have an awesome day! I love you so much!”
At the end of the year, the lunch box is stained and sticky or just missing. In fact, most of the time it’s “Grab yourself a snack, find a brown bag and you’re buying lunch today.”
At the beginning of the year, I was showered and ready to hit the office in style after drop off. I actually parked the car and walked the kids into school, said hi to the other moms and then cheerfully drank my coffee as I headed to the office.
At the end of the year, I’m in my gym clothes, dirty hair in a ponytail and on a good day actually make it to the gym and the office before it’s time to pick them up again.
At the beginning of the year, we had homework rituals and a place for all papers that needed to be signed. Chore charts were filled out, rules were followed and allowance was earned. Healthy dinners were made and there was a bedtime – an actual time to be in bed.
At the end of the year, homework is an after thought, dinner is take out, and bedtime? What bedtime?
At the beginning of the year I read every single email from school, signed up to volunteer for everything, and attended PTA and Foundation meetings.
At the end of the year, I am scared to even open emails because I already know I double booked and can’t attend anything.
At the beginning of the year, I combed my children’s hair, put gel in it and made sure their outfits were appropriate. I was proud watching them walk into school.
At the end of the year, I’m stoked if they are dressed, make it to the car before I do and don’t have breakfast in their hair.
During the course of the year, we did pretty well with some sort of balance between the two extremes.
It’s that finish line that throws me for a loop. I vow each year to enjoy every moment as it goes so quickly. Until the plate is piled and there’s five thousand things happening at once, ALL THE TIME. And then that end of the year comes and I find myself taking that deep nostalgic breath.
I know this much. We will undoubtedly have an adventurous summer and I will, of course, start the next school year off with the same great intention.