Ten Things that Happened the First Week of School

It’s Day Three of the First Week of School in these parts. Here are 10 things that have happened:

  1. We’ve put the kids to bed late. Every night. We mean well, I swear it, but the Summer Schedule is hard to break, man. Also, we have to, like, stand up to put kids to bed, and we just haven’t had it in us. By Thanksgiving, though; I’m pretty sure we can have this sorted by Thanksgiving.
  2. I woke up early Tuesday, the first day of school, to a sobbing 9 year old, emotionally destroyed because his mother, who washed everyone else’s backpack because she loves them more than she loves him (and also, has he mentioned that he has to do Everything, All the Time, and No One Else Ever Does Anything?), neglected to wash his, and it smelled like rotten cheese, and 4th grade was RUINED BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED, and, no, I shouldn’t try to fix it because it’s Too Late, and why don’t you ever think of others, Mom? WHY?
  3. I quick-washed and dried a backpack before school started because I AM A MAGICIAN AND DESERVE AN AWARD. 
  4. All my kids — every single one — went to school in clean clothes the first day, without holes, AND in shoes that fit. Minus the kid who wore the same outfit the two days prior, and minus the kid who had holes in his jeans (“They’re FINE, Mom”), and minus the kid who outgrew the shoes we bought him the previous month and so had to curl his toes to shove them in an old, dirty, holey pair of sneakers.
  5. I hid in the bathroom on Tuesday night, hoping if I stayed there long enough, the kids would take their mountains of First Day paperwork to their father who failed to plan ahead as well as me and was thus available, watching TV, in the family room. Listen, friends; listen… I KNOW this is not an Inspirational Blog. I KNOW who I am and what we do here, and I’m sorry for breaking character here, but hiding in the bathroom totally worked! GREG DID ALL THE PAPERWORK. <– In other words, Be Inspired! BOOM.
  6. I woke up early Wednesday and made bacon and eggs, thinking surely this is the year I will make my kids hot breakfast. Surely this is the time for Protein and Grace and not another bowl of Just Go Get Something from the Pantry, kids. Surely this is the season of life I will learn to rise with the dawn like the Proverbs 31 Woman and not rise like the Living Dead after hitting snooze twelve times. Fortunately, my son said the eggs were gross — “like poop, Mom,” he said, *spit* *spit* *spit*ing them back on his plate — so now I don’t have to make breakfast for the rest of the school year, AND I can blame my kid’s lack of gratitude instead of my inevitable laziness. FOR THE WIN, friends. For. The. Win!
  7. Wednesday night, one kid who’s had a very rough time lately, told us we suck and he hates us and he’s quitting school and moving out and walked out of the house and slammed the door and came home 5 minutes later saying sorry and to lots of Sympathy and Love but also Consequences for being a butt. And also, my other kid keeps growling like a dragon.
  8. My husband and I passed each other on the stairs around midnight. Not to brag about our Romance for the Ages, but we made Eye Contact and said, “Hi,” and “Hey,” and “Fancy meeting you here,” and “Come here often?” He brushed my hand. He made it seem like an accident, but I think it might have been on purpose. I hope to see him again someday.
  9. I did not wake up early Thursday because it’s important to Grow and Learn and Change, and I learned everything I need to know about waking up early on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  10. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ve almost made it through one week of school. ONE WEEK OF SCHOOL DOWN! In conclusion, praise the Lord God Almighty for Teachers and may we all receive divine amounts of Love and Grace and Patience and Endurance for the next 35+ weeks. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS, friends.

Sincerely,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
12 comments
  1. I started my first grown up, full-time job this week. At 46 years of age I went to kindergarten. We have homeschooled for the last 19 years so it was a shock to my system to have to get up early each day, pack a lunch, put on clean clothes, and go to school! Day 1 we had 3 accident reports taken to the office for my class of 20 (2 were at recess so not on my watch). Day 2 one of the parents said I didn’t look as terrified as I had on Day 1 and then I went to my son’s cross-country meet and one of his teammates asked if I was Jonah’s grandma?!?!?!? Day 3 I went to bed at 8:30, I have no idea when my kids went to bed or if they did at all, I woke up at one point in the evening to smell brownies. Today I am pretending I don’t have to go back to school on Monday but I did shop for birthday goodies cause I FAILED as a teacher and missed the first birthday of the year on Day 3 of school….

  2. Week two with students, week one for my own kids. I fell down and got a concussion Sunday night. The sixth grader had a two hour meltdown about homework Wednesday night (before actually starting the homework). I may have asked, “Wait a minute–how many years of work experience do you have in education? Oh right, none. And how many do I have? Hmm. Over twenty, most of it in middle school.” Because he WOULD NOT BELIEVE ME when I offered reassurance or possible solutions, yet he WOULD NOT LET IT GO.

    So this is helpful. Thank you.

  3. I am also rocking the new school year. My oldest started second grade with new clothes and backpack she got for her birthday 2weeks prior (what what!) And my little one started TK with older sister’s leftovers from last year. She also went from half days to full days which was not what we planned on but I’ll take it because she is loud and my house is wonderfully quiet during the day now. And I’ve made about 627 trips to school to fill out paperwork that was missing. Also I was awesome and signed them both up for soccer which started the same week so we get to remember to pack all the soccer things in addition to lunches and homework. I cried when I dropped them off for their first days, and at their first practice (they are getting TOO big). My husband reminded me that they were in soccer last year, but it’s DIFFERENT. We haven’t been to bed on time at all so we get over-filled melt downs which is super fun. I should also note that I have a 6 week old baby thrown into this mix so sleep is somewhat of a distant memory. But it’s cool. We totally got this. 🙂

  4. I’ve decided to change my definition of success. I told my hubby our kids are ready for college. I mean, they EXCEL at time management as I’ve never seen humans be able to literally – LITERALLY – walk through the front door and immediately drop everything into a pile as fast as these kids of ours. I said it’s time management – no time wasted putting anything anywhere! It also teaches problem solving, of how to get past said piles to the actual house part. They also have very low standards of cleanliness, as they will leave wrappers and cups all through the living room (thus why I have a strict no food/beverage past the hall) so any dorm messy situation will not bother them as we live in a frat house – or at least it looks like there was a party here every day. There is no entitlement issue – they don’t expect anyone to pick up their stuff, so we have that one down. And the girl achieved highest of high marks by eating leftover pizza for breakfast the other morning. I say we are all winning this parenting gig!! 🙂

  5. You guys. This is my first year of public school since I was in first grade – my oldest is in fourth grade and we’ve homeschooled up till now. (Okay, I went to private school for high school. That’s not as dramatic-sounding.) I learned in the first week how to make menus that incorporated last night’s dinner in today’s lunchbox. But once you learn the rules, you can break them, amirite? PB&J for the rest of the year, kids. You’re welcome.

  6. Wait. You mean to tell me that your kids’ backpacks last more than 1 year AND survive a trip through the washing machine? Where do you buy such resistant backpacks? My oldest is in 3rd grade this year and I swear, by the end of the year, they poor backpack is holy and falling apart and I don’t dare get it wet for fear it will altogether fall apart.
    Also, big huge kudos to you for surviving the first week! My kids have been back in school since August 17 and so we’re kind of almost past that first few days excitement and we’re slowly slipping into our old habits. This morning I insisted my son put on a clean shirt because it’s typically frowned upon for kids to wear the same clothes 2 days in a row. He didn’t see any issue with wearing dirty clothes to school. There was huffing and puffing and sighs.

    1. Just chiming in. My sixth grader just got a new backpack, because he is going to middle school, but his first grade backpack has lasted until now, and his little brother is choosing to use it this year. It’s from LL Bean, and not a single hole, all the zippers still in tact. It wasn’t the typical school backpack, but a different one on clearance. We’ve replaced it with the deluxe school one from LL Bean, hoping it will last til senior year.

      1. This is us, too! We bought each of our kids backpacks for Kindergarten, and they have to carry the same ones every year until middle school, when we get them their next LLBean. Even though the first one is still in excellent shape, they have, however, outgrown the smaller size as well as the pink and purple flowers. 🙂
        LOVE LLBean backpacks! Super durable and withstand wash after wash (and even came clean after the milk carton spilled and stayed in the bottom of the backpack while we were on a hot vacation to FL…and it rode the van the whole time.)

  7. We made it 3 whole school days before the 8th grader, who suffers from debilitating anxiety, had a panic attack. I decided to start eating healthier this week and I skipped dessert, wine, and bread. That also lasted three days. 😉 The next 178 schools are going to be loads of fun!

  8. Beth, a special shout-out to numbers 5, 8, 9, and 10. And this from a teacher!! Who also has 4 kids – who survived their childhoods in spite of me!

  9. #8 – We had a conversation almost exactly like that last week, while in the serpentine line at Disneyland.It ended up making sure he had my number. I hope your hubby has yours. 🙂

  10. I homeschool through an online program because with my hubby’s job moving us all the time, we have to. My oldest is in third grade and she hit me and hold me she hated me and wishes me dead because she is expected to read out loud. I will be going out for wine later… The first two days were good. Tomorrow my hubby can deal with her because he is off, and she will probably do wonderfully. Because kids stink like that.

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