The relaxed pace of the past two months is returning to the structure and frenzied rhythms of the school year.
Today, both of my children started school. My oldest is starting his second year at El Camino College; my youngest is going to 4th grade. The grade levels are different, but the concerns are remarkably similar. Having just the right clothes, meeting old friends and making new ones, and getting to school on time. With Kid the younger, the time issue normally boils down to what time my daycare provider drops her off, which is always on time, everyday. Kid the older has unfortunately inherited my family's fractious relationship with time (no one in my family has EVER been on time, ANYWHERE) so the challenge for him, as always, will be to organize himself in order to make it to his first class in a somewhat timely fashion.
My daughter is taking those first tentative steps toward being a teenager. At 9, she is what is now called a Tween, that sweet spot between childhood and teen years where children become acutely aware of themselves, and start to define their relationship to the world around them. Good grades and test scores, as well as a somewhat conservative manner of dress, has marked my daughter as a Nerd. She is comfortable with this, as being one of the cool kids doesn't fit in with her somewhat solitary nature. I envy her self confidence. At her age, fitting in and being accepted as part of the crowd was already becoming important to me. It's just not an issue for her, and I love that! She has a sense of freedom that I hope to emulate someday.
My son is now roughly the same age I was when he was born. He has had a rough time with education. He dropped out of high school due to learning difficulties, and is just now trying to get his education back on track. I am encouraged by his enrollment in college, and by his attempts to find a job. Like quite a few of his contemporaries, getting both needed classes and a job, require a mix of tenacity, networking and occasionally, dumb luck. He's out there daily, searching online for work, and showing up to those desperately needed core classes, hoping for that coveted "Add" slip. In short, he's trying to pull it together. He's also hoping to turn his unusual personality and penchant for humor into some type of career in entertainment. We will certainly see how that works out.
My role in all of this? Human calendar, traffic cop, transportation manager, cheerleader, coach and anything else that I need to be at any given time. Especially with the organization issues we tend to get into. We just spent the better part of the evening looking for my son's wallet. I wish I were kidding. He couldn't find it this morning, so just opted to go without it until we had time to search for it later. But for the most part, we got through it today. No major issues (other than the missing wallet), and soon all will be quiet again in the house as this first day winds down, and we all get ready to head into the next year of our life.