Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall: Kicking ass and taking MY name.

Back to school is a stressful time of year for everyone. It's always been for me because everything seems to start up at the same time, you're writing checks to every organization because we all have to fundraise first thing, or you're running to every store within an hour of your house looking specifically for a one inch BLUE binder because teachers clearly don't look at (or revise) school supply lists so that we could find that one inch BLUE binder in say... July, when they are all in stock.

That would be too easy.

Needless to say I don't remember last fall and I know that in my post AFE fog everyone else essentially did it for me. Someone took my kids to get school supplies. Somehow they had new clothes and I still don't know where they came from. Someone paid for their school photos, got them signed up with fees paid for all kinds of activities. Took pictures for me so that I'd have something to remember that year by. But this year, I'm on my own. Partly by choice because the biggest struggle for me is having lost some independence this year, simply because it's not safe. I know that. I don't like it, but I know it. So this year I'm really trying.
Some days trying is driving Olivia to dance with a bunch of candy corn in my lap as dinner. I often sit in the parking lot, alone in the quiet. Sometimes I read, sometimes I cry by myself. 
Jackson is a mini stud this year. He's a fourth grader and it's a big deal. He's got his own sense of style and I kid you not, he wears that hat ALL OF THE TIME. 
Olivia is in cheerleading which means sometimes she gets to cheer at the high school games. I've been bringing Jackson with me so I'm not in the stands alone like a loser. This particular night we froze and as soon as she was done at half time, we left. I literally felt like I was frozen to the bleachers. 
Jackson continues with tennis and he loves it. I found an indoor tennis court for him to take lessons at and so far it's him and one other girl. He asked me if I would continue to pay for the lessons and I said I would. I have no idea how, but this is the only thing he's so excited about, so by God, I'll find the money. 
I claim "Mom of the Year" because I sat through the Kevin Quinn "concert" at the balloon festival here. In case you aren't in the know, Kevin Quinn is on some Disney show called Bunked and he's a big deal for the tween crowd. Spoiler: he was super terrible. The kids loved it though and it got us out of the house so I win. 
Olivia came home from sixth grade a few weeks ago and said, "Mom- my math teacher said in the olden times they would cover books with paper bags? I'm supposed to do that." Yes- in the "olden times" this was a thing and I was damn good at it. So I not only covered that book but I wrote "MATH" in bubble letters on the front LIKE A BOSS. 
Jackson's favorite shirt in the whole world was this white shirt made of a jersey material that had "England" or something on it. He totally ruined it and it got too small and he was really upset to part with it. Thankfully my dear friend Jenny, who lives in the UK, found something similar and mailed it to him. He was beaming! 
Olivia has a boyfriend. I was able to have her friend sneak a photo during the recent homecoming game, which I not only went to, but I let Liv bring a friend. But it was alright because her friend is the best kid ever, and it wasn't freezing this time, so it was a decent night (even though we lost terribly). 
More adventures with Olivia- she had an epic bike crash on a local trail by our house. She (wait for it) swerved for a bug and lost control, scraping her face, biting her lip, and bruising the muscle in her arm/wrist and spraining it. She's healed up pretty great after a week but still has a huge bruise on her wrist. Thank god she had a helmet on!
This was taken just this week. I was driving Jackson to school and I glanced over at him and it hit me how big he is. He's got his "News" notebook on his lap (he's in charge of comics for the school newspaper) and he takes his job so seriously. He was telling me about school and sharing a locker with his friend Masen, and how he really missed school pizza at lunch over summer. It seems so weird that he's so big- he was always my measure for how old I was. Now I have two more under him but strangely, he's still my measure.

Between cheerleading, dance (at two different studios), running club, volleyball, tennis, and god knows what I'm missing, I'm all over the place every week. The little jaunts to these things is enough to make me feel like I'm leaving the house and participating in the world but not so much where I'm having anxiety attacks, which is a good thing.

And it's only October.

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