There’s a school bell ringing. Somewhere, I’m sure.

I could have sworn the school year just ended. This was by far the fastest summer vacation I’ve ever experienced. My goal for the summer was to get organized. My goal for 2008, 2009, and 2010 also, was, to get organized ~ we can chalk that up to a big fat #failwhale. The past tense portion of 2010 at least. My hopes now are simply that I don’t make it worse. Baby steps.

Last weekend was tax-free weekend in Tennessee and so most people run out and mob the stores to save 9.25% sales tax and then whatever else the stores lure you in with. I don’t drink my coffee any faster in the morning to get out for anything less than 60% off.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me to have the girls try on their uniforms from last year until Sunday afternoon around, oh, say, 3:00p.m.

Bad plan. The kids grew.

So off we go to the mall to find uniform skirts, jumpers and shoes. I’m hesitating here, so as not to paint my child in a bad light. Let’s just say she has arrived at the age of becoming emotional about things. And stubborn and opinionated. God bless her. And although I was here first, her father knows how to deal with it when it comes from me.

From her? Well that’s a whole new interesting stage we have been dropped into. Sadly, it happened in public.

I just want to be a good mom. I just want to be consistent and fair and always pointing them to Christ. Which is why I walked away silently rather than open my mouth. I’m just grateful I have hair left after my portion of the experience and then the watching it all go down from 30 feet away with her father.

Ohhhh friends. We went home. We were 20 minutes into mall shoppin on a mission and we hung our stuff back up and walked silently to our gas-loving planet-hating God-given SUV and drove 20 more minutes home in tax-free-lover-traffic.

A couple hours later, when heads had cooled and apologies had been made, we headed back out to the mall and to dinner because I was not about to let low blood sugar be the cause of any more public outcries. When we arrive at the mall we discover that the store closes in less than an hour. Somehow, I got caught in “makeupland” and Brian in “short sleeve shirtsville” and then the girls suddenly have an emergency trip scheduled to the bathroom. I hunted down uniforms while Bri took them to the girls room. It was taking so much longer than I expected, so I go look for them and Brian is waiting outside the door shrugging from afar. He calls out to them and then Taylor comes out a few minutes later with a cast on her arm. A cast made of toilet paper.

“Are you KIDDING ME?!!” I called down the hall. It was safest bet in the moment.

By now, the mall was closed, so we head to Target. Brian has an errand to run into Nashville so he drops us off, we find what we need, go to the fitting room and then I realize that I have not brought my wallet with me, and not only that, the store closes in less than 30 minutes. It was like a nightmare. I could see us, standing at the registers, our arms full of skirts and socks and shoes and all we needed and I have no wallet and my husband is 20 minutes away and the last of the actual school supplies are sold out and … you get the idea. It was as close to the wire as I was comfortable getting.

Well Brian walked into Target at 8:55 much to my relief and we went home exhausted and over it. You can take that any way you want to. I should have just gone to Target in the first place.

Fast forward a couple days to the first day of school, Thursday. The kids lug their overflowing, stretching plastic bags of supplies through the front doors and go to an assembly where they sat by grade at round tables. Parents stuck around to hear and see their kids off to class. The Headmaster spoke a few minutes and then, before he closed, he asked the parents, who were standing all around the perimeter of the room to take each others hand and make a circle around the children. So there we stood, parents, hand in hand, encircling our God given gifts and we prayed over them as we felt led. I forgot about all the other frustration from earlier in the week. This is what it’s all about. This is the why. This is our privilege. This was a marked stamp on our school year, our day and our children.

It was one of the most special things I’ve ever been part of.

I stood there, my neck at 90 degrees and my face parallel to the floor because tears were flowing out of my eyes so fast they needed a place to go without wrecking havoc on my face or shirt. For all I knew, I’d be standing in a near puddle when I eventually opened my eyes. I wasn’t when I did, but good call because my eyeliner and mascara never had a chance.

What a fantastic day it was. I feel so blessed to be there and to be of service. It is a direct answer to prayer that I can be there specifically and part time and … well, I told you all that before. It’s just a tremendous blessing and there’s no place I’d rather be.

I dare say I smiled so much last week during school that my face hurt! You can’t imagine all the cute stuff we see happen with the kids. But the highlight of my work day so far has been Avery. She and I have a little “secret handshake” we do when we see each other from a distance. She made it up a couple weeks ago when she was upstairs and I was on the couch and neither of us wanted to meet in the middle. We blow each other a kiss, catch it, put our fist on our heart, wait 5 seconds, and then flatten our hand over our heart. It’s very synchronized. We’ve got it down.

Sometimes I wish she and her sister weren’t growing up so fast, and yet, it’s fun, and I love who they are becoming. I’m grateful that I am learning to enjoy the moment more. As for those un-enjoyable ones that creep up, I’m trying to find ways to learn from them rather than just hold on and survive. This has been and will continue to be a grand year of learning: for the kids and for me. I’m ready.

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~ by hthr on August 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “There’s a school bell ringing. Somewhere, I’m sure.”

  1. School prep was stressful for me as well, but it sounds like you handled it much better!!! Up until a week ago, I was super weepy about my kids going back to school, but shoe, clothes, supply etc shopping was so ugly, I couldn’t wait to have a few hours of peace. Awful right? I’m in the post traumatic stress phase right now.

    ps. Your school sounds lovely.

  2. I was lazily browsing some friends blogs this morning, drinking my hot tea and reading some older posts that missed. And I just needed to say that this one needs a disclaimer or warning of some sort… “do not read if you are emotionally vulnerable, pregnant, or some combination of the two” I’m boo hooing all over myself. I too, stood in that circle that day weeping. But because my 2nd baby was starting kindergarten and my 1st baby was nervous that 1st grade would be hard. 🙂 But for all of us weepy moms, it was a beautiful moment indeed.

    And on a side note, I always tell myself how nice it will be when more of the kids can walk with me into Target instead of being pushed in a cart. What I forget is that means they will be older and there is inevitable drama I’ll be dealing with instead. Thanks for sharing your stories…. for me, it sheds a little light, wisdom, and preparation for the years that are coming right around the corner. Love ya friend.

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