For many parents, back to school time is a big rush. There is just so much to do and so little time to do it. My BlogLovin’ feed confirms my suspicion that this time of year is overwhelmingly hectic for a lot of parents. My household is no exception to this and for us, it’s usually go, go, go as well. This year, though, we’re easing into the school year. We’re taking it slow and not getting bogged down over the little stuff.
Because the little stuff, the stuff that I’ve found myself fretting over every school year, is so unimportant. So very unimportant. My experiences over the last two weeks have taught me that life is actually what’s important.
For Jam, school started over a week ago, but today will be her “first day” as a first grader. While her classmates have found their seats for the year and made new “best friends,” Jam is focusing on not falling when she walks, holding a pencil again, and being able to feed herself like the 6 year-old she is. As a mother, it’s hard to watch the other kids run across the street to Jam’s school every morning–laughing, talking, walking with their friends, while my daughter looks on as we pass by, on our way to an appointment or to my mom’s house so she can be babysat during the day. It’s even harder to know that even when she returns to school, it likely won’t be “like it used to be.” I’ve read that it can take months for a person’s body to get back to normal after spending a couple of days on the ventilator. Jam was on it for 8.
I hurt so much for my baby, but I also have to be strong for her and assure her that everything is going to be just fine. I have to put on a brave face and a fake smile when she asks when she’ll be “normal” again. Or when she starts crying because she falls as she’s trying to run. Or when she becomes upset because what used to take 5 mins now takes 15 or 20. Or when she drops a cup of juice because her hands slip off–they’re not strong enough to hold on yet. Or when she loses her balance attempting to walk down the stairs. Or when she asks why she has to take so much medicine. Or when she asks me the questions that I will likely never be able to answer: Why do I have asthma? How come I get so sick?
So, yes. We’re easing back to school this year. Even though the doctors cleared her to return to school a couple of days ago, my mommy mind told me that my baby needed to rest. She (and we) need a few moments to just be. No poking, no prodding, no questions. Just stillness, if only for a moment. This year, I’m leaving the hoopla and the rushing and the scheduling and the go-go-go mentality alone because it’s not important.
It’s so not important.