I’m either on or off. I accomplish tons or nothing. Today I accomplished tons. I am attempting to prepare for the first week of school. The first week of school is like a dance recital. All summer we’ve done nothing. Then last week we started looking at the calendar. Planning doctor’s appointments now requires a war plan. Every day is a strategically planned wreck. We have to get up for school, get dressed for school, drop the girls off at school, and then do a little PTA stuff. What is PTA stuff? Making sure the first couple days go smoothly for everyone we can. It’s something I’ve practiced for 4 years now. I’ve got the snazzy costume, the smile, and the “I know how this goes” attitude. And the “don’t worry, it's okay” attitude. But what I’m best at is not answering questions by answering them. Oh yeah. The good ol’ southern art of BS. Bull snot. You know what I’m talking about. The answering things without actually answering them because really, what is the point? To reassure a frustrated parent that things will be fine, their child is taken care of, and the first week is always like this (no matter if their hair is on fire and their child is screaming like a banshee). To help a teacher find that other list that they needed because this list isn’t the right one and who is that kid anyway? To help an office staff member by bringing them a treat because God forbid they step away from the phone for five seconds. Yes, yes they really want to answer every question you have, including the one where you called to ask if your child really (really?) needs 20 pencils. Or whether we actually have school this week since it’s so hot. Or that you want to speak to whoever is in charge because the car rider line was too long. They love it.
And that’s why we are there. The PTA. To help. To ease stress. And as a mom, I must ease my kid’s stress too. That’s Act 2 of the dance recital. It’s a different costume. It’s the one with the extra glitter wand. The wand that helps my Peanut walk into a classroom with enough confidence to find a desk and know that despite the lack of familiar faces, the year can be fun. The wand that helps Bean know that she’s ready for first grade and it’s going to be magically fun even though it’s not her favorite teacher. And it helps me too. My glitter wand makes everything okay leaving my kids with a new teacher. Leaving them amongst what will be friends, but is just a whole bunch of new faces. Knowing that at the end of the day I’ll be right there waiting for them to come out the doors and hopefully smile and tell me that this is going to a be a great year.
And it will be. And we’ll survive the dance. Tonight I relax after preparing stuff for the first week’s lunches, organizing school supplies and “Welcome Back” gifts for teachers. All that’s left is a couple nights’ sleep and to don my “super hero mom” uniform that allows me to go through all of it without crying. ‘Cause that’s what Mom’s do. (And to be honest, I’ll have my best bud beside me too, which always helps. Even super heroes needs friends.)