It’s been almost two months since I returned from Israel. It has taken almost all of that time to get back in the swing of things. Though I stay in constant touch with friends and “family” there through email, skype and facebook–it’ not quite the same as being there.
So why am I telling you all of this? To remind us both that our idea of back to reality is radically different from our kids’ idea of back to reality. If you’re kids are like mine the minute I begin to wax on with, “When I was a kid…” I usually get groans and negative reactions. I have yet to hear my kids say, “Tell us more mom, we love stories about your life a hundred years ago!” And so I try to remind myself that back to school for my kids looks nothing like back to school did for me.
For starters, they have many more pressures on them then we did back in the day. The expectations socially and academically trump ours and we, as parents, need to be sensitive to their transition as they return to friends, homework and the school environment. We need to even be more in tune if they are starting a new school, especially if they have arrived from another place–whether across town or across the world.
Two things I want to do to the best of my ability–
1. Be there. Even when I can’t be physically there, I want to be available by phone so that they feel they can touch base with me at any time. We can’t underestimate the anchor we are for our kids especially when things get a bit turbulent.
2. Just listen. I will do my best to not make any comparisons or connections about what it was like back then even though I may have been through similar things and think I know how it feels. They need their story, journey and experiences to be uniquely theirs.
So, here’s to another school year! They seem to be zooming past me at an ever increasing speed. Before I know it, they will have all graduated and reality will take on a whole new meaning. For now, I join you in another year of early rising, lunch money, permission slips, school pictures, homework, and all that comes with being a mom of school-aged kids.
All the best for a great year,