Trying Not To Focus Too Hard

Today was the day…the first day of a new school year.  I can happily say my morning check list is done.

Kiddos up…check
Healthy breakfasts made and eaten…check
Lunches packed…check
Back packs ready…check
Buses caught for the two younger ones…check
Parking space secured for Zach…check

Last night I wasn’t so sure this morning was going to go so smoothly.

Last night Zach had no idea if he was going to school.  He was diagnosed with mono on Friday and he didn’t know if he would be able to make it through the day.  He had no desire to miss the first day of school but he knew he felt like total crap last night and didn’t know what the morning would bring as far as how he was going to feel.  He also didn’t know if he was going to able drive himself and if he did, he didn’t know if he’d have a parking spot secured.  He’s only a junior and juniors aren’t guaranteed a parking spot at school.  So it’s up to them to do some creative thinking to find a spot somewhere in a neighborhood bordering the school where they won’t get towed.  Last night, Zach got on the phone, asked for a favor and was granted a coveted parking space.  After the parking spot was locked up tight, he and I went on a recon mission so he knew exactly where he was parking.  Mission accomplished there but we still had a big but to worry about for the morning because after our recon trip we still weren’t sure whether school would be doable for Zach.

On to Claire…

Last night the tears came.  Tears flowed from her pretty eyes and onto my shoulder.  She really didn’t want to leave elementary school behind.  She cried.  I listened.  I encouraged.  I loved.  I wished her a wonderful night of sleep, wiped the tears from those eyes and told her all would be well.  Last night sadness overwhelmed Claire.

Now to Lucas…

Last night we had to remind Lucas that 8th grade is the year to make a good impact academically.  It’s time to put the shenanigans behind him and focus, truly focus, on trying to be the best student he can be.  I’m not putting pressure on him to be the star student.  I am putting the expectations on him to be his personal best…no more suspensions, no more stupid boy pranks and a commitment to the best school work he can achieve.  Last night, I hoped the words sunk in.

This morning dawned bright and early and I had no earthly idea how everything was going to pan out.  More tears from Claire?  Zach unable to move out of bed?  Lucas coming down stairs in his  “Don’t be a Richard” t-shirt, setting the stage, once again, for the title of class clown?  I plugged along, just waiting for the snags to occur.

Those snags never happened.  The morning was like clockwork, except for the cases of back to school nerves ~ which are understandable.  The kids were out of the house and off to school.  Luckily for me, all of the issues I told you about above kept me from focusing too hard on the inevitability of what a new school year means…they are growing up.

While I was concerned about Zach not being able to go to school because he was sick, I didn’t have to focus on the fact that he can now drive himself to school and back.  It’s a whole new chapter in our lives and just one more step in his growth toward independence and leaving home.  I didn’t have to think sad thoughts about Zach leaving home in a mere two years.  I was not focused on me, I was focused on him.

When I was drying Claire’s tears last night, all I wanted to do was succumb to tears myself ~ to mourn, just a little, that my baby is growing up right before my eyes.  I wanted to sit and have a good cry with her but I had to be strong for her.  I had to encourage my “little one,” telling her she was more than ready for the challenges of middle school.  I had to dry her tears (or she dried them herself on my shirt) and try to make her laugh (by thanking her for snotting all over my top).  I had to focus on her.

With Lucas I had to use my energy to help him focus on being the best he can be this year.  I didn’t have time to sit and dwell on the fact that this is his last year in middle school…next year he goes off to high school and then before I know it, he will be getting ready to look at colleges.  He’s such a dynamic and fantastic kiddo and I had to focus on making sure he remembered that and not the other boy can sometimes be.

It’s a fine line for me to walk…the balance between not focusing too hard on what I know is inevitable (kiddos growing up and leaving home) and being out of focus and not in the here and now.  But I’ll keep walking this line until the time comes for me to find another fine line to walk…for the love of my children.

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