Today is the last day of school for many children where I live. This day always means different things to different people. There are those of us who cannot wait for the summer months. A break from the daily routine of making the dreaded school lunches. The non-stop regiment of assignments, field trip forms, homework, extra-curricular’s. Oh, and who can forgot that 8:00 pm urgent plea for poster board and glitter for tomorrow’s art project they forgot to mention. By the third child, you always have a closet filled with emergency supplies.
There are also those families who now have to spend these months juggling their children between summer day camps and babysitters. It can be even more stressful making sure all of their working hours are covered. They will be counting down the days until school is in session once more.
We all know some mothers and fathers out there who miss these days. Their children have grown and moved on. Gone are the days of running through the door with report cards in hand. No more days of over flowing backpacks filled with journals and artwork. They know just how precious time is. They are the ones who will tell you to enjoy each of these moments for what they are.
I am sending out so much extra love to all of the parents who have had to endure the loss of a child. Each time these milestones splash across social media, it is painful. They would trade life itself to make last day of school plans.
For me personally, this year is filled with mixed emotions. I have a bonus daughter graduating high school tonight. It almost seems surreal. When I came into her father’s life, she was a sweet and shy twelve-year old girl. Weekends were filled doing arts and crafts, playing legendary games of man-hunt, watching movies for hours, and braiding her hair. Pizza and chocolate ice cream were always on the menu. Now, here we are at graduation and off to University in the fall. She is our fourth to leave the nest and no it doesn’t get any easier.
I have another special human in my life graduating high school tonight. My nephew will also be taking the stage. Thirteen months ago, I lost my sister, his mother in an automobile accident. There is no sugar coating this. It sucks. Her job as his mom was the single most important thing in her life. She did a fantastic job. I will be sitting there, clapping and yelling like a proud fool as he walks to get that diploma. I will be there for her. I will be there for me. I will be there for him, tonight and always.
Today is also my youngest son’s last day of sixth grade. I have personally gotten two children (his siblings) through school. Although not all was smooth sailing, we got through it. This year with my wee spawn as he is affectionately known, was the most difficult to date.
Not a single week went by without a struggle to get him out the door. I mean an emotional breakdown, can’t catch his breath sobbing. I lost track of how many teacher interviews were held, but I am quite certain I ended them at eight. Two meetings with the principal and probably five phone calls with said same individual. Now, just to be clear, I am not blaming this entire situation on my son’s teacher. I can say she was young, and most certainly on a mission to change the world. Bless her ambition.
What have I learned about my youngest son this year? He has the ability to worry and stress like an adult. I say this because he is twelve, but has been having these worries since he was probably eight. What does he worry and stress about? When it comes to school, it is always about doing things perfect. Bringing home his saxophone and memorizing the sheet music for hours until he can play it by heart. This was the third day of school. Group projects will force him to do everyone’s part just to be sure it is done perfect. “Mom, if I don’t she could mark me badly thinking I didn’t do enough.” Any test, any project that he brings home with less than an A he feels devastated and judged by his teacher. All it takes is for him to hear the words from his teacher, “Why did you get that wrong?” He feels like an overall failure. He can spend an hour stressing out over where he is going to go to University of College. How is he going to pay for it? Where he is going to work to pay for it. I had to stop him from attempting to do a household budget for when he does move out. My minor lapse of parental judgement may have told him I would pay him to bring me home a C or D this year. 🙂 #momoftheyear
If any of you have followed along with my blogs, you will know I am not a big lover of labels. This is even truer of children. I feel very strongly that if you label a child at a young age, they spend much of their life fighting to get out of that box. I diagnose and label people for a living. Instead of slapping them with that, I give them tools to deal with the issues at hand.
The picture changes when you are a Mom. My heart hurts when he hurts. I can clearly see that my boy has many of the same issues I do. He strives for perfection at any cost. I know this started for me at a young age too. This caused me much stress and anxiety throughout my life. If I don’t keep it in check, it still does. So, that’s what he and I will do this summer. We will work on tools to help him realize he is amazing. That being perfect is impossible and unrealistic. That what other’s think of us is none of our business. Will I take flack for being the professional to help my son? Read that sentence above.
Happy Last Day of School!
Much Love ❤