One Step Report #33
Does your world look like this right now?
It’s that time again. Back-to-school is, in some respects, more a fresh start than the New Year. The adjustments are in full swing around here. One of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood is the feeling I felt at the beginning of a new year: I knew I could do it, that I was capable, that I loved school, that I would pay whatever price was necessary to succeed, but my stomach was still tied in knots because I worried about being good enough, and about how high the price would be. I didn’t have the words to describe it, but that was how I felt the night before school started every single year. Now I feel the same feelings, but they’re multiplied times five.
Of all the new school supplies purchased each year, my favorite thing was a blank notebook or ream of paper and a writing utensil. Having those two things in hand promised that anything was possible. The sense of expectation, of potential, was real to me. Because I was so serious about it, I always experienced an emotional pause of sorts before I could actually use them. I didn’t want to tarnish them with anything less than the best I could envision, and I could envision a lot. I knew the words on that top page would be gently engraved several layers down. A deep breath, and the first word was written. The paper was no longer new; now it was mine. I was committed and there was no looking back.
This week’s report: 75 steps. It was a busy, tiring week, but a great week as well.
1. On Tuesday morning our four elementary school aged children started their new school year. I think we’re off to a great start.
2. Along those lines, it has been particularly fun to watch my 6th grader take hold of a middle school environment complete with locker, passing periods and 3 million disclosure documents. She loves it. It’s also been funny to watch my 8th grade son’s response to her daily efforts to further organize and decorate her locker. I’m telling you, boys are boys and girls are girls. So funny.
3. Usually I feel sad when my kids start school. This year I felt a happy feeling in my heart, like everything will be ok. Tuesday was also my first day in two years without a kindergartener. I got SO MUCH DONE on that first day of school. I had the kitchen clean, scrubbed my kitchen chairs, prepped dinner, made zucchini bread for an after school snack, enjoyed reading time with my 3 little ones and even got them all down for naps at the same time. I think that a whole new world might be waiting for me. Another factor in that feeling is that this year I have a one year old baby instead of a one week old baby. Believe me when I say I have a very long list of things to work on this year.
4. Wednesday night I had the honor of meeting my sister-in-law, Kate, who was in town for BYU Education Week, and two of her good friends, for dinner. It was a very pleasant evening and I enjoyed myself tremendously. They were so kind to include me in their circle of friends for an evening. I walked away feeling so grateful for Kate (who is an amazing lady), grateful she has such awesome friends, and grateful for the chance to spend a few hours with them. It was a bright spot in the week which I’ll not soon forget.
5. To kick off the school year, we had 2 children playing in a soccer tournament this week. We spent a combined total of 23 hours driving to and from or watching soccer games this week.
6. On Friday night I took 7 of the children with me for two of the tournament games (my oldest went camping). Usually I will do anything to avoid taking my whole bunch to crowded places, but this turned out to be a great experience. We found a great parking space, set up headquarters in a shady area and I enjoyed the most pleasant summer evening I can remember. The children played, the two year old talked my ear off, and the baby had a great time running away from me. I sat and watched my son and daughter play soccer and counted heads every 60 seconds while I marveled at the beauty of the setting sun filtering through leaves on the trees and the gentle breeze as it blew in the evening temperatures. The soccer complex was full of sounds: children playing, whistles blowing, parents cheering. I took a deep breath and savored it all. It was an almost perfect night. Only two things could have made it better: having my husband there with me, and my camera in hand.
7. Wednesday night my son lost his bag at the tournament. It contained his soccer uniform, school clothes, school shoes and belt. It took a few days, but on Saturday someone turned it in to the Lost & Found. Answered prayer.
8. The children and I got our cars and half the garage cleaned up yesterday. We’re ready to go!
9. I got my teen-aged son outfitted and ready to start school this week. I hope he has a great experience. He is an awesome young man.
In all, life is good. Tonight we are a very tired family as we continue the transition to school routines. Hopefully this week will be a great one!