10 pm. August 27th, 2012. Summer, as we know it in the school year, is over. School starts tomorrow. It is bittersweet.
I've got one starting high school. HIGH SCHOOL! How the hell did that happen so fast? He has to be out the door at 6:25 am. He hasn't been able to get out of bed without my prodding and nagging all summer. I'm not driving his ass to school if he misses the bus. How do you think it will go tomorrow morning?
I think he's nervous though he won't admit it. I remember feeling that way. He's going to a regional school from a class of about 100 kids to a class of 500 kids. They are divided into two 'houses'. Most of his friends are in the 'other' house. He's got to deal with a rotating schedule, a huge school, soccer every day after school, 3 honors classes and a physics project along with his usual every day routine. He's cranky as hell today. He keeps saying it's because he doesn't want to get up early. His ADHD isn't helping in the organizational department despite my providing every available crutch and facilitation I can think of. I feel like a broken record with my reminders of "did you.." over and over and over again. We're both frustrated by it. I keep reminding myself he has an executive function disorder. His brain is not wired correctly. It doesn't do any good to yell or get frustrated but Oh. My. God. It's exhausting and infuriating for both of us that it takes so long to get any one task accomplished.
I worry about him the most. It's such a huge transition. He's got so much to manage this year. He's still only 13, having started school early because of his academic abilities and desire to learn. Thus, he is emotionally immature. Add to that the raging hormones of puberty and the delicate dance of a desire for independence as equal to the desire for parental support and guidance and nurturing. This is why I get head bumps on the shoulder instead of hugs and a whole lot of sass.
He is also having to juggle being on the Freshman soccer team and a premier soccer team, both as keeper. To be honest, I wasn't sure he'd make either team and although I'm proud he's made both and I think it's good for him on so many levels, it's going to be a serious challenge for him to keep up. Practice after school or a game every day of the week except Saturdays. At least twice a week, he has back to back practices or games. When does he eat? Do homework? Have down time? See friends? Foster relationships? Do his honors physics project? Wait. I'm ok if the dating thing gets put on the back burner!
Then there is the fact he has a brother, who also plays soccer and has practice in direct conflict with and a half hour away two days a week. I'm blessed to have a fellow soccer mom for him who is willing and able to pick him up from day care and take him to/from practice if I can't make it so I don't have to clone myself, have a nervous breakdown or make one suffer time/practice wise for the sake of the other. I need to find the equivalent for the older one and time to reciprocate to all of these parents!!
The younger one is going into 5th grade. A new school. Technically still elementary but housed in the middle school building and he gets two teachers instead of one, a locker and chorus! He is psyched! He can hardly wait for the morning. I'm sure he'll be up and ready long before the bus. His back to school shopping is (mostly) done. He has a new wardrobe he picked out painstakingly carefully and with a significant amount of purple and he couldn't be more tickled! His clothes are picked out, his backpack and lunch box ready to go. He went to bed right on time. I didn't have to remind him of anything. Sometimes it's hard to believe I birthed both of them they are so very different...
All that said, summer went by too quickly. We, they, were busy. Camp was a blast and they both enjoyed their experiences and grew tremendously on many levels. K attended physics camp for two weeks and was a leader in training at a day camp the rest of the summer. He even got a 'girlfriend' out of it! R had a blast attending the day camp and had a week in Maine with his father. We did not take a family vacation this summer like we usually do and I really missed it. We did a few day trips but it's not the same.
I feel like I failed somewhere along the way. No summer vacation for the family. No down time together. No rest for mommy! I'm really feeling the stress of it right now. We've not had time off together since April Vacation. Part of it is because I needed to save my vacation time for the wedding and honeymoon and time off at the holidays. Part of it is because of the soccer and camp commitments and timing just wasn't in our favor.
Next year I shall fix it. Two weeks of summer vacation together. In a row. Perhaps a family cruise and a week visiting my parents in Florida. Some fun and some relaxation.
That's a long way off...
In the mean time, I said no to something! I said no to a soccer outing, planned today for Thursday evening. It'd be fun for my sons, but I just can't do it. It's the one night we've got nothing else going on. It's the first week of school. I need a night for me!! Even if it is just not having to drive anywhere after 5:30 pm!
So tomorrow morning my babies have another first day of school. They are far from babies. I don't cry anymore. At least I don't think I do. I do feel a sense of melancholy and pride and even a bit of relief all mixed together. It will be nice to just shoo them out the door to the bus instead of having to drive them somewhere or to two different places.
Then again, I might just do the happy dance!