As we approach yet another new school year, parents in town are busy buying pencil cases, notebooks and new sneakers. We’re all over the kids to finish their math and reading homework before the first day and just hope that they haven’t forgotten everything they learned in June. Which of course, makes it all the more ironic…
That every September, without fail, I forget absolutely everything about the school schedule.
I can’t explain it, but for some reason the summer serves as a bit of mental eraser for me. I'm not sure if it’s the long, sunny days, the switch to camp hours or just the fact that a two month break is too much for my forty year old brain to handle, but every September I’m lost. I can’t remember if we buy or bring lunch and what kind of school supplies we need; I’m even questioning what time the bell rings.
Shhh…don’t tell my kids.
When the Public School Calendar shows up in our mailbox as it did last week, I’m always relieved. It’s as though the School Committee knows that there are a few very busy and very embarrassed parents like myself who may just let the first day of school come and go if not for a little gentle prodding from them.
When I unfold that mailer I breathe a sigh of relief as I reach for a Sharpie, and head straight to the calendar to make sure I mark every Teacher Development and School Vacation Day off.
(Important to note: I was famously the clueless mom standing at the bus stop with my kindergarten age son one day when a fellow parent drove by and informed me that there was no school that day. I’ll never live that one down.)
Of course, now that we’re sending Ben off to Middle School it gives me an excuse for at least part of my ignorance. I’ve grilled parents of older kids with every inane question there is:
“What time do they have to be there? Do they walk or take the bus? The bus costs MONEY?! What time does school end? Did we buy school supplies in advance?”
If they are rolling their eyes at me in private, they are polite enough not to let me see it. No doubt, the mark of true friends.
I wonder if I'm alone…am I abnormally flaky when it comes to this, or is it the dirty little secret that other busy parents hide as well? Does the new school year throw us all for a loop?
Thankfully, other parents who have gone through the same “first day of school confusion” are always willing to help.
Additionally, Andy seems to be on the ball when it comes to most things school-related so between my husband and friends, I manage to get the kids off with sharpened pencils and shoes that fit.
So what if MY “Summer Reading List” consists solely of the School Committee Calendar mailing? As long as my children make it to the first day on time, I give myself a passing grade.