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Back to School

Tags: school kid summer
First day of Fourth Grade
September means that back-to-School season is in full effect.

I grew up in Rochester, New York where we always began the school year the Wednesday after Labor Day. Theoretically, that gave us all summer to get in lots of fun. For me though, summer often involved endless hours in front of the television watching soap operas and reading books. There might be a week of some sort of lesson sprinkled in, but I was always happy when school finally started. School was where I could see friends and my parents wouldn't over manage my life. 

In Pittsburgh, my adopted home, the school year starts the week before Labor Day. Let's be clear, my kids had a pretty good summer. It included a vacation, camps, and for my daughter, a solo trip to Atlanta to visit my sister. In a word, for them, the living was super easy. But now, it is back to life and reality.

The summer is over.
First day of Kindergarten

Since I have two school aged children (I also have one in day care. When you have three kids though, the third one just kind of falls in line!), we have been back-to-school for a full week and just starting to hit our stride. As a working mom, that means managing the schedules. Who is going to pick up said kids and transport them to their activities. Although I am married, the responsibility for this management falls on me because despite emailing calendars to my husband and telling him that the information for the kids schools is on line--and sending him the link--his constant refrain is, "I don't know what's going on." 

I'm not sure if the ignorance is feigned or real. However, his tactic is effective. How can I hold someone accountable for something when they are completely unaware. It is as if I have figured out how to "beam our kids up" like Star Trek to and from school and have miraculous insight on how to account for their care on days off. I think he believes they taught such things at law school.

I resent everything about the paradigm. And I could go on about it, but I won't because, I recently got a reality check.
First day in the Young Toddler Room

When I began this post, I planned to write about the resentment that ensues from such inequity. But, I can't. First, two tragedies were reported in the news involving children. One was the child of my daughter's former teacher.  Then, I read about a CEO whose seven year old son unexpectedly died in the middle of the night, in his sleep, likely from an epileptic episode.

These events did not transform me into a saint, but they did put everything into perspective. And I realized this. It is my great privilege to raise these children. Movies gloss over the unpleasantness. However, parenting is hard, inconvenient and often messy. These realities are even more pronounced when there is great change, like when it is back-to-school season.

However, although my pursuit for equality doesn't preclude my gratitude, today, I am going to be more mindful of the blessings as opposed to the burdens. So today, I simply say, "Thank you"!

This post first appeared on Chaton's World: A Working Mom's Quest For Balance, please read the originial post: here

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Back to School


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