Brief Update: Your Response Requested

Quick updates, friends, on this, the first day of school 2018:

1. Got up early this morning! BEFORE my alarm went off. I AM ON TOP OF ALL THE THINGS. THIS IS MY NEW ROUTINE. I SHALL BE UP EARLY EVERY DAY THIS SCHOOL YEAR. 

2. Fell back asleep. 

3. Slept through my alarm.

4. Woke to the face of a child asking if I would, because this is the First Day and therefore a Special Circumstance, “do that thing where you at least look like you tried.”

Um. Pardon?

5. HARMED NO ONE. I shall throw myself an awards ceremony later, as per usual.

6. Did that thing where I at least look like I tried — aka, mascara + pants. 

7. Walked my babies into school ON TIME. Completed all the Parent Tasks. Lost my keys.

8. Searched the school. Saw my babies on the way. Said, “HI, BABIES! I LOVE YOU!” Except quiet, because there’s no need to embarrass them on the first day. “Hi, babies. I love you.” SO quiet. Like, zero decibels. “hi, babies. i love you.” I pretty much just mouthed the words.

9. Was told by the sweet munchkins I labored for FOUR DAYS to deliver to SHHHHHHHHHHH.

“MOM. SHHHHHHHHHH!”

10. OK, fine. Whatever. Assured them I shall not proclaim from my mouth my love for them at school again.

11. Found my keys!

12. Stopped by the school counselor’s office — who’s also my brother and my babies’ uncle because it’s a Small Town, folks —and gently requested he make one teeny, tiny announcement over the loudspeaker to tell “CAI AND CAEL WOOLSEY” that “YOUR MOMMY LOVES YOU VERY MUCH.”

He won’t do it, of course, because he’s kind and that request is wholly inappropriate, so I shall follow up with the principal to let her know the counselor was unresponsive to my needs. I also swiped a stack of Parent/Counselor Comment Forms so I can keep him apprised of My Thoughts and Helpful Suggestions throughout the school year. That should keep me busy for a while. 

In conclusion, the school year has begun, and it’s going to be the Best Year EVER. 

Also, you can pray for my children and the school counselor.

Also-also, how are YOU? I need updates, please. What items have you lost lately? Are you wearing pants? Do you at least look like you tried? If not, let’s hang out. 

Also-also-also, if you have any Helpful Suggestions for a middle school, I have some forms I need to complete. Just saying.

Love to you and waving, waving,

 

 

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.
64 comments
  1. I started back at school on Monday (Belgium schools start first day of September) – I forgot my water bottle and my tea and lost my sunglasses (they stayed lost until today, Wednesday afternoon, when I finally found the courage to empty out my Mary Poppins handbag). Today was the first day for the students (I teach 15 to 18/19 year olds): I did bring my water bottle, but not my tiny handbag which has my bank cards, ID, driver’s licence…
    I have an eye infection since Sunday evening (I think I rubbed some essential oil in it that I used to give some relief after a wasp stung one of the children) – I look like a zombie, no use pretending I tried anything. Feel worse than a zombie (what would that be?).
    My daughter, who started her 4th year of primary school (9-10 yr olds) on Monday, has been crying every single day after school so far, because she lacks all the confidence in the world (and because one of her “friends” told her it was bad that she didn’t know Harry Potter). Tomorrow is my son (13,5) ‘s first day of school. I already took a picture of the two children and their dad walking to school on Monday: the two men are the same size!!! When did that happen?? Last week or so, he was only 47,5 cms (ok, that was when he was born, but still!!).
    Frantically waving to everyone here and over there, because you all deserve it and because it helps me stay kind of afloat between the mud and the surface. And a hug to anyone who wants one too.

    1. And today (day 3) my daughter and I were late for her school (we live in the street of the school), but only a minute or so! We arrived on time both the first AND the second day!!

    2. Sounds EXHAUSTING! Frantically waving back…

  2. After gaining 24lbs in 12 months (yep that’s 2 lbs a month for a year) I celebrated the 1st day of school by buying pants that I don’t have to unbutton to sit down in. LIFE CHANGING. So now I have pants (because you were wondering 😉

    1. GOOD JOB! I mean, I’m good whether you wear pants or not, but choosing to get pants that fit (which can be hard work when we’d rather ignore the pounds and inflict pain on ourselves — blerg :/ ) is EXCELLENT. Love.

  3. Are those your eyelashes with or without mascara? If they are your bare naked lashes, I may have to stop liking you and your blog because they are awesome!

    1. HA. With. Those are my eyes WITH mascara.

  4. 1 pm, Day 4. Still in PJs. I lost the withdrawal slip for my first banking task as PTO co-Pres. Fortunately, our Treasurer is super-easygoing.
    I still try to use the “I have twins” excuse occasionally, but it is not so successful now that mine are almost 10.
    Your posts always make me laugh <3

    1. “I lost the withdrawl slip for my first banking task as PTO co-pres.” HA! I love this. I AM this. Thanks for sharing, Kate.

  5. I am not wearing pants.
    Also, I have no children in middle school, but one in elementary, one in high school and my first baby started college yesterday.

  6. This made me smile…

    I WISH I could say I missed those days, but I don’t. I remember them with a wince… My poor babies went through so much… My son was expelled in the 5th grade because of our ongoing battle with an administrator who didn’t believe that mental health was a thing. She believed he had a “discipline problem” or possibly ADHD.

    Guess what happens when you give ADHD meds to a child who does not have ADHD? Same thing that happens if you give said child a triple espresso shot, a few energy drinks, and lace the entire thing with crystal meth. Neuclear meltdown on an atomic scale.

    So yeah. We homeschooled. We struggled, we fought, we cried… and eventually we found our way out into the sun, and we hugged and we laughed and we cried some more… and we struggled, hard…

    So thankfully my kiddos are done with their school years. And now they’re facing Young Adult struggles… which can be just as hard. Like my Babygirl discussing the possibility of moving SIX HOURS away from home, to live with her beautiful, funny, brilliant girlfriend whom I’m not sure I love quite as much now because she’s TAKING MY BABY FROM ME.
    And I know it’s part of Growing Up and it’s a Good Thing, but… she’ll be packing a big chunk of my heart up in those boxes and bags and tucking it into the truck and driving away… and I hope by the time she does I’ll be Ok With It, but I’m not hopeful.

    Youv’e got this, Mama. Fill out ALL the forms. Say the I Love Yous. Hug them tight. There’s never enough time.

    <3

    1. Sending so much love as your baby girl flies away. Mama solidarity over here.

  7. Over and under for how many days before the 10-year-old, afflicted with ADHD and ODD, to get in trouble was 8. Under wins: 4. Talking in class, not listening to instructions. Suitably apologetic emails sent.

    Clothing meltdowns: 3 and counting. 92 degrees do not lend themselves to multiple layers, we explain scientifically. Clearly we don’t understand fashion. Boy is now highly allergic to collars and insists on T-shirts.

    Email lists from teachers and staff we were supposed to sign up for: 10, give or take. Email lists accomplished: Uncertain.

    13-year-old has Chromebook. Uncertain how to check email on it. Or his daily reminders. Or his homework.

    Situation normal.

    1. Situation normal. YUP. Waving…

  8. This morning we were late because all my children slept in (only on school days) and I had a half hour to myself eating in silence. Still totally worth it.

  9. Hello and good morning. Pants? What do I need pants for? It’s my day off! I started watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel an hour ago and I’m hooked. I’ve lost track of time. Do I look as though I tried? I’m a guy! Run a comb through my hair, shave every three days or so and hey presto! Though I am getting to that age where it takes like three hours after I get up for my face to stop looking like I pressed it into asphalt all night. That’s really probably more information than you were really looking for. Anyway, good look with the whole retaliatory humiliation thing! Your kids will only realize how lucky they are that they have you after they move out.

    1. “I am getting to that age where it takes like three hours after I get up for my face to stop looking like I pressed it into asphalt.” Next time someone asks how old I am, this is my answer! I get it, friend.

  10. I love you for being real.

    I had a good day because it was Day 2 of mucking out the apartment trying to get back to real life. A friend’s husband hauled away the bed that’s been broken for the last 4 months, and we finally dragged the new mattress into the bedroom back out of the living room where I’ve been sleeping. New start! Tomorrow is Day 3 of mucking out….

    I had a good day because I had a doctor appointment to fill out a form to request reduced hours at work so I can manage my depression. My doctor was kind, and after listening to everything that’s happened agreed that I don’t need meds just some time and to keep moving in the right direction.

    I had a good day because, seven and a half weeks after my father died, the bank FINALLY settled his estate. It’s been a comedy of errors that finally took an attorney to fix. After all my father’s careful planning… He’d be rolling over in his grave if he hadn’t died in his home in Mexico and been cremated that afternoon…. But now I have cash flow again. You know to pay the deductible and get my car fixed from my fender bender last month.

    Counting my blessings and waving in the dark… Thanks for asking how we are today. Xoxo

    1. My doctor always reminds me that feeling better requires work…I hope you get all the time you need to work on yourself!! Hang in there.
      Waving in the dark.

    2. I get this on the most personal level, Tara. Waving and sending love as you navigate this season. Xoxo…

  11. It’s 11:30pm where I am, and my 7 year old is still awake. In fact, everyone is still awake except my husband. Generally speaking this isn’t a crisis because we homeschool, so the 7, 11, 14, and 16 year old can sleep in and still get their work done. But Mommy’s done – has been for hours really – and it’s starting to feel like bedtime won’t happen at all. Ugh.

    As for what’s missing, that would be my can opener. I put it someplace very safe eight months ago when a pipe burst and flooded my kitchen. Technically the kitchen is still missing, too. Well … not missing – parts of it are strewn throughout four other rooms and the deck as we renovate and repair. My can opener, though, is very safe – so safe I can’t even find it.

    Waving in the dark and hoping my little man settles soon …

  12. I really REALLY needed to hear this after scrolling Facebook, where my friends are cleaning baseboards, creating stained glass doodahickys in their spare time, and posing their perfectly dressed, smiling offspring with tiny chalkboards that not only say “First Day of School” but also list what the child in question wants to be when they grow up and what their favorite book is right now and….. And it dawned on me that I’m not entirely sure that we have any pictures of child #5. Who is four and and a half. But we made it through today. And there were lots of hugs, so that’s something. Thanks for being real.

    1. My grandma raised 5 kids, including what had to be 3 of the squirreliest boys ever to reside under the same roof.

      When my folks had me, their first, my mom asked my grandma what my dad was like when he was little. He was the youngest of the 5.

      She thought for a minute, and finally admitted she had no recollection of him at all before he started school.

  13. I have a daughter who is a high school cheerleader this year. If you knew me that would enough info to have you laughing on the floor. My friends are. I feel it is proof that God does have a sense of humor. Also, last Friday I had to drive a car full (Suburban!) of them to the away game. Luckily they were tired from the first two weeks of school and some of them slept.

  14. I returned to work (teaching) full time three weeks ago after working part time for 7 years so I could have the best of both worlds: my babies and my job. Holy Transition Hell. That’s where I’m at right now.

    There were good and bad things about working part time. Now those same issues exist but they are magnified and I’m in sensory overload trying to process everything.

    Also, I’m tired. Caffeine and concealer are my new best friends.

  15. As the child of a former principal and school administrator I fully support your harassment of said school counselor. Some of my best middle and HS memories are of the shenanigans I caused for my poor mother. Comment cards, letterhead hacking, leaving special gifts on desks on important days… small town life has its benefits.

  16. this is probably in the top 5 blogs that i have ever read. i can always count on witty writing and real life on here, and the comments are almost even better. i currently (read: only have had it for 5 days) have a pixie cut, so my hair almost always looks like i tried, so that’s good. and i wore pants today, except they were shorts and made of sweatpant material…

  17. I called the school as soon as possible this morning to verify that the bus schedule was the same as all the other years. It was not. In hindsight, last week would’ve been a better time to research this. That phone call was at 7:37 and was told the bus would be to our stop at 7:41, two and a half blocks away. I am a child care provider, so 6 kids here in the 3 and under group, and 2 to meet the bus. Threw the 3 smallest in the stroller and booked it to the bus stop (have you ever gotten 8 kids out the door and almost 3 blocks away in 3 minutes? I wouldn’t recommend it, although it does provide a hefty dose of adrenaline to kick start the day!) We made it and then proceeded to wait for the bus for TWENTY TWO MINUTES….it finally showed up 2 minutes after the time it has arrived for the past 10 years.

  18. This is my first year as an empty nester, so I brought zero children to school today. My youngest is abso-freaking-outlet miserable and texts daily begging me to let her leave her big fancy school 8 hours away and let her come home, so I’ve been better. And I’m getting my first root canal tomorrow, for which I definitely need pants to shit in.

    1. This is my first year as an empty nester, so I brought zero children to school today. My youngest is abso-freaking-lutely miserable and texts daily begging me to let her leave her big fancy school 8 hours away and let her come home, so I’ve been better. And I’m getting my first root canal tomorrow, for which I definitely need pants to shit in.

    2. Oh, mama. That super sucks. Waving in the dark, friend. ❤️

  19. I’m in a hard place right this very minute, but it’ll be ok. (I’m a teacher and this was my first day back. So I have been parenting one kid or another since 5:30 this morning and I am *tired*. One of my new Kindergarten babies [at school, not one of my actual babies I made with my body] is almost entirely non-verbal but when I started playing piano he climbed in my lap and said, “play!” and kept moving my hands back to the keys. Lord, my heart.)
    Imma need strength and patience and I am fresh out of both. Luckily my auxiliary strength and patience (aka my husband) will be home in a few minutes. Maybe *he* can get the 4yo to pick up every LEGO he owns up off the living room floor. Maybe.

    1. Humans who are both teachers and parents at the same time are made out of magic. Be gentle with yourself. OF COURSE YOU ARE TIRED. All that magic takes ENERGY. Sending lots of love.

  20. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I’m the teacher, so I have to at least look like I tried every day. But we take our shoes off and fart freely and stretch and wiggle a lot, so we keep it real in first grade. They gave the teachers white uniform shirts this year and so for the past two days (and for evermore, because I’m not buying a new one) I’ve been walking around with a big black whiteboard marker swipe across my left breast. Proof that I have been writing important things on the board. 😉

    1. Farts and wiggles! ❤️ You’re the Very Best Kind of 1st grade teacher. It was nice of you to write on your boob to make the rest of us feel better.

  21. The trouble with starting off the school year wearing one’s ‘looking like I tried’ appearance sets an impossibly high bar for the rest of the school year. You may come to regret that. My policy is ‘begin as you mean to go on’. Thus, I claim slovenly as my default position.

    1. Good advice. I think my default position is Haggard.

  22. I slept thru alarm, yet it was turned off so I turned off alarm then rolled over. Missed responsible adult child (21) get up & leave on time. I left about 20 min late but got to work 10 min late so I made up time somewhere! Even remembered my breakfast & lunch. I am fully clothed, and they are clean, not inside out and shall promptly be swapped out for comfy clothes as soon as I walk thru door this evening. Big goals.

    1. If you leave for work 20 minutes late, but arrive 10 minutes late, that means you’re 10 minutes early from your Adjusted Goal, right? I feel like you should get mad props for that. #ModifiedAdulting

  23. I am at work, definitely looking like I tried, because getting 3 humans out of the house on time and looking good is my mama super power. It’s probably not as useful as super powers other mamas have, like patience, or not cursing in front of your young children, or not losing your damn mind on your children multiple times a day, but it is what the Lord gave me, so I run with it. Tomorrow is picture day at daycare, so I get to use it in its fullest capacity, and I’m pretty stoked about that. 🙂

    Now if I could just get some freaking motivation to do all the work things, I could be a more useful human this week. Thoughts and prayers appreciated on that front. 😉

    1. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS, KATIE! Or at least tell me that being on time and looking good is as fabulous as I imagine… I feel like I’ve come to terms with Never Being That Person, but I would like very much to live vicariously through you.

  24. Yay for me! Woohoo! I put on pants (and a shirt AND a bra) even though we homeschool and I don’t have to leave the house. And, AND, I brushed my hair. In summation, I totally rock.

  25. I made it to Open House, I even filled out most of the handouts/hand-back-ins, and then I forgot to hand them back in haha. Starting off strong!!

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