School is almost done for another year and I think the teachers are trying to do me in. They’ve had to put up with the Brandsma boys for 9 months now and they are exacting their revenge by putting every field trip, every celebration, every project, every special day, EVERYTHING into the last month and a half of school.
I don’t think it’s possible to be more thankful and appreciative of the teachers my boys have at ACS. I marvel at their creativity. I’m awed by their passion. I’m humbled by the way they give their all. But I’m simply exhausted by their tenacity to finish out the year well.
Where’s the Quiet Room?
It’s as if I’m in a race…humour me here and let’s pretend for a second that I actually know what it might be like to be in a race…I see the finish line up ahead. I’d love to run full speed through the red ribbon, arms raised with pride at the accomplishment of finishing strong.
But I picture myself more like those poor souls near the back of the pack who are visibly limping, gasping for breath, bleeding a little at the knee because they’ve tripped over their own feet. Oh sure, they make it over the finish line but it isn’t pretty. People politely avert their eyes as they throw up in a corner and need to be escorted to the side for treatment before they completely collapse and need to be scrapped off the ground. Somebody might be wise to escort me to a quiet room soon for some treatment or you might find me rocking in a corner somewhere.
Glaring Red Pimple
I do not wear this badge of busyness with pride. It feels more like a glaring red pimple on the end of our family nose that we try in vain to cover up lest we have to admit that we are flying by the seat of our pants.
I have every intention of finishing this 2015/16 school year “race” but I also have no illusions of finishing it in style. At the beginning of the year, all the school lunches were filled with healthy items and homemade treats. I packed individual little baggies with cut up veggies, sliced their apple or peeled their orange and even cut their sandwiches into cute little shapes once in a while. Now we’re throwing two granola bars and an apple into a bag as we’re headed out the door and calling it good.
In September, we planned ahead for every project and had all our supplies set out the night before. In May, we grab from the recycling bin anything remotely similar to the teacher’s description of supplies needed for castle building as Steve is honking the horn from the truck. Someone remembers that today is market day and the “coin cup” gets dumped all over the counter and each kid grabs the quarters they need, jamming it into their pockets as they fly out the door.
And inevitably in all the hubbub, Aiden’s permission form gets left on the counter so I’m chasing after the truck in my housecoat. No kisses goodbye, no sweet farewells. Just sighs of exhaustion and it’s only 7:40am!! We are definitely gasping for breath at this point in the race.
Nine months ago, the boys came home to the aroma of homemade cookies and a cup of warm tea. Today, after school, we had a turnaround time of half an hour before leaving for the school BBQ. Amid the chaos of unpacking backpacks, signing agendas, and oohing and aahing over Owen’s second grade papers, I had four ravenous boys begging for a snack. But after decorating for the grad banquet all day and a fifth grade track meet the day before, the pantry and fridge were looking bare. So instead of tea and cookies, we had pea pods and a couple shots of whipped cream from the can. We are definitely limping at this point.
Bleeding at the Knees
And as much as I tease that the teachers are doing me in, I know it’s a combination of school wrap-up, staying up too late on these beautiful spring nights, signing up for too many fun activities, and who knows what else. I’m losing my grip on the title of super mom and I was so sure I had that one in the bag.
So please, cheer me on as I finish this race. I’m gonna make it even if it ain’t gonna be pretty. Feel free to avert your eyes when you see me wearing the same shirt three days in a row. The laundry will get done eventually. And when you see me at the next field trip, bleeding a little at the knees, with a decided limp and some heavy breathing, just smile and wave and maybe pat me on the shoulder as I stumble on by.
Though don’t pat too hard, I’m liable to fall flat on my face 24 days from the finish line.