Monday, September 05, 2011

Worries for a New School Year

I'm so terribly sad that summer is coming to an end.  Yes, my kids drive me totally insane from the end of June until the beginning of September but I do love having them around.  Crazy as it sounds, it's true. I'm not ready for school to begin.  I'll miss having them around during the day.  I'll miss being able to do what we want, when we want.  However, I know the routine is needed and in it's own way welcomed for us all.  However, for me, every school year brings with it a list of worries and anxieties. 

School starts back Tuesday.  I am filled with sadness, regret and anxiety.  The sadness and regret come from not being able to fill their summer with more fun activities and get aways.  I know in reality they had a great summer without the amusement parks, day trips, long beach filled vacations  but still I feel guilty.  Sigh.  I wish we had money to get away from it all.  We did have a week off and went away for 3 days.  It was amazing and we'll never forget the fun we had.

My husband's work hours don't allow for much(2 jobs, one salaried management position) plus I'm still unemployed.  It hurts though.  I remember being young and not being able to go all the fun places my classmates went because we didn't have money.  Thing is, I know I still had a fun filled summer just that most of it was spent in our backyard.  Someday soon I hope we can splurge on our kids.  We've never taken a vacation longer than 4 or 5 days.  We've never been on a cruise or out of the country together.  But, we get by and have our own fun close to home. I have to focus on that.  Right now the most important thing is that we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and each other.

This year I had a very limited back to school budget.  I'm very lucky that my friends with older girls have passed down a lot of cute clothes for my daughter.  That has helped a bunch.  I only bought her 2 new shirts, a pair of gym pants, socks, sneakers and dressy boots.  My son is growing like a weed so I am slowly rebuilding his wardrobe.  Nothing from last year fits him except a few shirts and his shorts.  Over the last month I've purchased 3 pairs of jeans, 5 shirts, socks, 3 gym pants, 2 gym shorts and a pair of sneakers.  I need to still get him another pair of shoes(he's 9 and already in a size 6!!)  and a fall coat.

As far as school supplies go, I had a surplus from years past.  Plus, our community has a really nice back to school event where they give out free backpacks filled with various supplies.  I didn't have to pick up too much at our local Walmart/Target. 

I'm dreading this new year.  Goalieboy is starting 4th grade.  I'm praying this year goes smoothly for him.  He is filled constantly with anxiety and I don't want it to grow as the year goes on.  I have to call our insurance company and see what's covered for therapy.  I'm scared to find out, as we have a deductible plan.  I'm praying therapists are different and there's a co-pay involved.  He really needs someone to talk to.  He has trouble falling asleep most nights.  It breaks my heart when he begs for one of us to lay down with him until he falls asleep.  He's always worrying about fire, burglary and such.  As the start of school grows closer his anxieties heighten.  I don't want him to worry about those things.  Prepared, yes but worried to the point of anxiety, no.  A lot hinges on this new year and how things flow.  I hope his teachers work with him and understand him.  I hope his classmates are not mean and judgemental.  I know in the back of his mind he is worried about being teased about his hearing aids.  My heart breaks.  Kids should not have to worry about these things.  Why are some kids so cruel to others?

Finally, I find that I am overly anxious for the beginning of a new year.  I am live with anxiety that my children may have problems this year with friends and academics.  These are fears I lived with as a child and I feel them build inside me again but for them this time. 

As I said, my son has struggled in years past.  Last year wasn't the best.  I'm still in amazement that his teacher called me the second to last week of school to tell me a para caught him racing through his morning work to avoid having to complete it during lunch.  He failed the work.  She had him redo it.  Guess what...he then aced it.  Hmmmm....wonder why.  I truly believe this was a big issue most of the year.  I believe he was doing this most of the school year.  Either, no one paid attention to it or no one cared enough to wonder why it was happening.  Consistently he was coming home with roller coaster grades.  If a child is participating in class, seems to have a handle on the material and then (nearly) fails the worksheets/tests do you think there could be a problem you're overlooking?!  Yep and the end of the year is too late to address and rectify the issue.  I'm still ticked.  I believe a good teacher would see the signs and try to find out what's going on.  But, hey, I could be wrong.  I'm not a teacher after all.  I'm still upset though.

My final worry....I have been searching high and low since the teacher letters were sent home 2 weeks ago for anyone in my daughter's second grade class.  Scouring high and low.  Facebooking, texting and calling friends.  No luck.  So far I have yet to find one child in her class.  Friend, acquaintance or even someone she doesn't know.  How can it be that most of her friends have one teacher, a few another and not one has her teacher.  I'm heartbroken for her.  Probably because I had such a hard time making friends.  She's not like me so I'm forever grateful but I feel panic for her.  Not one of her girlfriends are in her class.  How can that be?!  I've check with over a dozen parents.  I'm holding my breath because I know (praying, begging and pleading) there will be friends she loves in the class I just don't have their contact information.  Plus, she's good at making new friends.  It just sucks that they kept most of her closest friends together without her.  It's funny because I know this is sometimes done if kids are a distraction to themselves and others.  However, she's not like that. My girl is definitely a talker (like her mom and brother) but she's respectful.  All of her teachers have said she has the best manners, follows directions to a T and always willingly helps others.  She is praised for setting a good example.  Sigh.  I know she's going to be fine.  But it sucks.  I feel like she's being punished for being good.

So,there are my crazy, somewhat unfounded worries for the new school year.  I just needed to get them out of my head so I can breath a bit easier.  I'm just praying now the teachers are good and are the right fit for my kids.  I've heard a few stories that worry me a bit but I'm going to not judge ahead of time.  It's hard but I'm going to go in with no preconceived notions. Positive thinking for a positive school year. Nor will I share any of these fears, not a one with my children.

I have worked on pumping them up.  Exciting new classes.  Meeting new friends while reconnecting with old.  New challenges and lots of fun.  Focusing on the positives...for them and myself.

Am I alone in new school year fears?  Please share yours or your child's.  How do you handle them?


BeaderBubbe said...

You know as a mom of five kids I had some of the same worries....and with 5 there were no vacations..We made do with walks, beach, park and aquarium visits...I was a SAHM until they had to go to college and now they are all grown, out of the house and hubby and I did go on that cruise this all things being equal..doesnt it all work out somehow...your health is more important..and all other things come after...I wish you a great school year and less worries...and remember..“Worry is like a rocking chair--it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.”

Regina Richards said...

I always have a list of things I want to accomplish each summer for the kids and the household. At the end of the summer I check to see what got done. This year was a mixed bag of success and failure. Most summer's are, but better to do something than nothing. So on we go.

Shell said...

Hope the year goes smoothly for you and your kids!

I worry about so many small details... and they usually end up being unfounded.

Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

I am so sad to see summer go and kind of bummed that my oldest won't be here with us during the day. I like the freedom and lack of rules and schedules, but like you, I think we need the routine again.