Friday, August 9, 2013

School Starting Freak-Out

I'm plagued by back to school stress. It doesn't matter that I've been out of school for years. My anxiety dreams are set in the hall of my high school and those awful bells are ringing. I've arrived in class with the wrong books and when I go to get the right ones, I suddenly can't remember my locker number. And the bells. Just. Keep. Ringing...

There's also the dream where I got dressed in the morning with the "I don't care..." attitude, only to get to school and think, "I so DO care! What was I thinking - paring purple polka dots with anything?!" The latter sometimes happens in real life to, even though I don't own anything with purple polka dots. 

So here's what I'm telling myself on the cusp of my children going to school. You know, when it's not just my life I could mess up, but these guys I care so much about.

We will all get through this and grow. Even if you miss a beat or forget to give them pencils. 

I'm probably going to miss several beats and this new season scares me. I'm about to be added to an email list where I will receive information. Important information about stuff I'll be responsible for. Stuff I need to know so my kids will be where they're supposed to be with the stuff their supposed to have. 

It all sounds like too much. You want me to get my kids there at 8 am? Every day?! And then this day there is no school and that day they let out early...Sheesh!

At this point I should point two things out. 
  • I've never done this before. 
  • I've no idea if it'll be as bad as I'm making it out to be. 

But this is what I do. The unknown scares the poop out of me. When I was in college, I'd be a bear until I got into a semester and knew exactly what it was like. Even if it was really hard, I'd be okay once I knew my teachers, had seen the syllabi and hunkered down. So the weird thing is, if I know I'll be okay even if it's hard, why do I freak out at all? Can't I graciously glide right past all that stressing and fretting and just do it?

So far, no. I haven't managed that. With kids going into school now, I've probably got twelve more chances to try that. On the other hand, if I find myself fretting, I'll try not to fret about fretting since that gums up the gracious gliding as well. I'll try to be gentle with me, and praise myself for moving forward even when it scares me.

Having two sets of little eyes watching makes me want to do this life-thing better. Right now. But then, it may be more helpful for them to see me do it badly first and learn to do it better. That way they'll know I wasn't just born calm and patient. (One sentence I never thought I'd write...) That Jesus held my hand and took me to a better place. That he'll do that with them too. 

Lead them through times that scare the poop out of them. 

Times they've made the end of the world in their heads. 

We will all glide one day, with or without pencils.


  1. I'm feeling a bit anxious myself this year. Maybe 1st grade seems extra important to get right? The teacher will be gracious and the kids will learn something and all will be ok. Ms. Clara is excited to sit next to Chandler next week.

    1. Oh wonderful! I didn't know they were next to each other. :)

  2. Not sure if it was easier or harder to send my daughter to her first four years of school. At least I knew the teacher well though. It was me!!! Yep, me, the church school teacher. When she didn't have all her pencils, I really felt bad. I'd failed her on two fronts! But thankfully she never held it against me.