<--me in my summertime happy place
The tide has shifted. You know what I mean. It's that tingle in the air when you go from being a summertime free-bird to suddenly feeling the undercurrent of excitement and mild anxiety that comes along with a new schoolyear about to start. I have to say that this may be one of the first summers where I thoroughly enjoyed my kids for the ENTIRE summer. That sounds weird to say, but truly, they did not make me crazy! Whether it's their ages or the intricate balance of camps, travel and free-time, or the weather, we may never know or witness the formula again, but I am thankful. Since we can't sign up for another month of summer we march onward with brave faces towards (gulp) high school for the girls and 7th grade for the B man.
I thought you might like to know some of the things I'm doing/thinking about right now so you can either laugh at me or do them too.
1-Try to ignore the newsfeeds, take 5 deep oxygen-rich breaths, and go seize the last moments of your summer fun. Forget the dishes, there's time for that later. Check your summer 'to do' list- did you mean to get out there and kayak, hike, wash your car, camp, view a solar eclipse, call you state Senators, take more naps?? Whatever it is...last chance...go!
2-Purge. I haven't had this urge to clean stuff up and start fresh since I was 7 months pregnant in 2005. Getting the junk out. Instruments we don't use any more? Bye bye. Old furniture, stuffed animals, art supplies, papers, clothes that are too small- be gone! Fortunately some of my mini-me's have joined me in this undertaking, because in some strange way it makes us feel prepared to face the new schoolyear together with a clean slate.
3-Also a very important not-to-be-missed event would be a "Back to School Mom's Day." Sounds official, right? Schedule one. This gem happens when the kids are in school and the moms get together to re-connect (PC:dads you can come too) over mimosas, share summertime stories and get in some good belly laughs. You have to start the year off right, and it takes a village to get this parenting s*%t done.
4-Back to school supplies. There is some special timing to this, as many of you expert parents may know. My kids are very adamant about accomplishing this chore 'before the good stuff is gone.' They find joy in selecting these items in person because online will not give them the full 3D experience of hand-picking their favorite colors and patterns. Here's our conundrum: In high school we have discovered there is no supply list given online ahead of time, like there was in middle school. Teachers will tell them what is required during the first week of school, which by this time, is when all the 'good' stuff is gone. TRAGEDY.
I do, however, have some tips for you as you begin your back to school shopping. Have you ever picked up your student's backpack? Soooo HEAVY?! I often wonder if my kids could get weekend jobs as sherpas. Kirkland Middle school learned at their Backpack Awareness Day last year that 92% of their students were carrying a backpack that is more than 10-15% of their own bodyweight, (which is the recommended max by the American Occupational Therapy Association). My 13 year old daughter's backpack was about 17 pounds, and I assure you she is not 170. So, one way to help with this problem is to guide your kids toward selecting light weigh supplies like the ones in my tip sheet here. Some local physical therapists and chiropractors have great insights on how to select and pack a backpack properly. And don't forget to set aside a certain time each week for your student to get in the routine of cleaning out their pack.
Enough of that- go joy the last moments of summer. They'll be gone before we know it.