Thursday, August 8, 2013

These are my people

It's August and summer has flown by. School training and orientation classes have happened and now we're just waiting until the first carpool on Monday to get the official start to the new year. Training was very different this year than last. Last year it was the high-level *why* of Christian classical education. This year more time was spent on the nuts and bolts of how to survive in this particular Christian classical school. I see the value behind the theory stuff, but I'm more of a nuts and bolts, practical person, so I liked this year's training much better. There was also the distinct advantage of not being new anymore. I knew some of the other parents and most of the staff. I had an understanding of the ins and outs of how the school worked and felt much more comfortable this time around. Yesterday was my first time attending the elementary sessions and I'm a little worried about how *much* I'm going to have to do on L's home days. But it'll be great and if I just keep telling myself that, then it will be. Today was the secondary training and all the upper school kids came. The campus buzzed with the energy of 80-something teenagers who hadn't seen each other ALL SUMMER. Or at least since Tuesday night's volleyball dinner. K immediately disappeared into the crowd and I caught a few glimpses of her throughout the morning, immersed in a gaggle of her "besties". At lunchtime, she found me long enough to ask for the keys so she could get her bags for tonight's student retreat. Let me back up a bit here and tell you a little of what this week has been like. Both the girls have had commitments every day this week. It's a big dance week with team tryouts and rehearsals, so L has been at the studio everyday. K had student council and volleyball stuff and tonight's retreat. Add 2 days full of school orientation and my calendar looks like a spider web of who has to be where when. And did I mention that hubby had a fun opportunity and went out of town with his brother? I've been juggling everyone's schedules and it became clear to me early on that I couldn't handle the logistics of it by myself. The best part is when I realized that I don't have to do it all. Over the past few years, I've found a community of people who are happy to come alongside my family and lend a hand. The last 2 days, I dropped L off with a friend in the morning who gave her a ride to dance. K rode to the retreat today with a friend whose mom ended up taking 6 girls. Another mom friend is bringing them all back to school and yet another mom friend is bringing K home for me. When the last mom friend texted me tonight offering to bring K home tomorrow, I almost said no because I *could* go get her. I don't have anywhere else I have to be at that time and I didn't want to take advantage of this friend. Then I smacked myself over the head and texted back that it would be great if she could bring K home. She is going to be there to pick up her own kids and she lives just up the street. We trade rides for the girls all the time and it's not like either of us keep score as to who drives more often. I realized that I just felt like *I* have to be the one to do everything. I mean they're my kids and I do like sitting in the car after an event and talking about it with them. It's just that the whole trying to be Supermom is exhausting and quickly burns me out. Somehow I've managed to build a network of mom friends who are great at helping each other out, not just during emergency scheduling conflicts, but when it simply makes our lives easier. Like rides to or from dance just because it's easier to not get the little kids out after baths or it saves 15 minutes on the commute. The funny thing is, I didn't do it intentionally. It was a series of small gestures over the past few years. I've taken the time to get to know my girls' friends and their moms. I've offered to help others when I could and swallowed my pride enough to ask them for help when I need it. Suddenly today, I looked up and realized that I have a support network that's bigger than I ever thought. And that's a beautiful thing. So as this school year continues, I need to remember that I do have help and we can make everyone's lives easier if we lend each other a helping hand. I don't have to be the one driving to every away game (and K probably won't end up in therapy if she doesn't have a parent at every single game). I can arrange some carpooling with nearby dance friends just to make the rehearsal schedules more practical for all of us. I think that's one practical effort that will payoff nicely in the end.

2 comments:

Will Stranathan said...

So happy to see you writing again! And remember, when I'm in town (which is usually) and when things arent chaotic, I can help, too. I know I'm not a mom, but I can help.

Howard Stranathan said...

An example of what's good about being part of a community. And an example of your good management skills.
I agree with Will, I'm glad to see you writing again. I admire your skill.