Having taught school before staying home with my 4 kiddos, September 1st feels like the start of the New Year much more to me than January 1st ever did. A new beginning – new friends, schedules and opportunities. I can’t forget to mention the smooth folders and new boxes of sharp crayons begging to be used. I just adore school supplies and I could truly write an entire post on them, but I fully appreciate that not everyone shares my stationery addiction and pen envy, so I will keep it short. When Target and Office Max start to peddle their 3 subject notebooks (with TABS!!!) and their rainbow colored packs of fine point sharpies – I could pour a cup of coffee and drool over the ads for hours! Or, better yet, getting the chance to roam the aisles of pencils and planners, pens and pocket folders is like Christmas for this gal! But, I digress, besides the obvious pleasure I receive from back to school shopping, the hope I feel in September as we begin a new year is one of my favorite feelings.
Coming off of the summer months can be difficult. In our house, during the three months of summer (required by Michigan) we focus on family time, relaxed schedules and lazy days that allow for us to recover from the other nine months of madness. The less complicated and hectic itinerary of our warmer days present us with more opportunities to fill our day completely or do nothing at all. Our choice. Then September comes flying at us like a bull in a china shop. Mind you, it’s a cute, shiny bull with the promise of fun things ahead tied around his neck like a fancy bow – but a bull, nonetheless. We both smile and fret as we anticipate the start of the “busy season”, otherwise known as September through May. The opportunity presents itself to set new goals, re-evaluate old ones and appreciate the chance to feel hopeful about the future. We are forced to “make nice” yet again with our alarm clocks and recognize that our time is not quite ours anymore. It’s harder for some in our house than others to make these adjustments.
As we flip our calendars to September, we brace ourselves for the return of all the clubs, programs and commitments . Now, as a family of six, we have narrowed our list of activities in order to not send Mama straight to the padded rooms. We have weekly religious education for the kids and Bible study for me, and practices for whatever they are in at the time (limited to one each, as their is only one Mom Taxi available for transportation). December once reigned as the busiest month of the year, but September is making significant gains and is in a very close 2nd place at this point. Throwing in the 3 schools worth of Open Houses and required PTA meetings on top of the other “welcome back” malarkey makes for a month of mad dashing from place to place. Getting back into the routine happens whether you are ready or not. It doesn’t take long for us to accept our lots and get to where we are supposed to be on time(ISH). Be easy on yourself as you transition back into school mode and perhaps offer a nod of understanding to the other frenzied parents you encounter. Now, go grab a new pack of pens and get ready …… “HAPPY NEW YEAR !”