I recently joked with my mentor (who regularly insists that I make a little time for myself each and every day…to which I assure him will happen on a more consistent basis once I discover how to enact a 26 hour day) about my time not being my own. I mean really, with a demanding job, a tenacious honey and kids who don’t seem to understand the word “no” until I threaten them with bodily harm and/or confiscation of worldly possessions, by the time I’ve come home from work, administered baths, signed forms, returned from practices, issued a “last call” in the Pack Kitchen and turned out all the lights, I am usually dog-tired and not worth the 600 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets I pass out on.
And never does this sensation feel as true (and as overwhelming) than at back to school time. The Pack younglings (with the exception of the overly dramatic baby child who tried to walk out of the front door with his siblings this morning with bare feet and a diaper bag on his back) returned to the halls of learning today, but not without a plethora of time-consuming drama that ultimately rendered me exhausted and completely useless by midday. With my nephew in middle school, he pretty much had his first day mapped out, so to avoid any teenaged embarrassment, I let him head out to his bus stop alone. Now with the big boy’s broken foot however, riding the school bus was no bueno, and since he wasn’t travelling via the cheese wagon, there was no way the baby girl was going to pass up a chauffeured ride to school.
Once we got there, I had to fill out forms detailing his injury, the appropriate care to be taken while in school, special travel accommodations and permission for him to be outfitted with an elevator key (to his supreme delight). Of course, the fact that my child decided to milk his battle wound for all its worth, while his sister’s half protective natured silently did battle with her green-eyed-none-attention-getting monster other half only made matters worse. But once I told Frick and Frack that they were both special, sent them to their respective classes and got myself to work, I did have a reasonably productive day; only slightly hampered by two calls from the school regarding omitted paperwork and a minor playground fall (yep…he’s on crutches and in a stabilizing boot, yet he thought that the monkey bars were a good idea).
When everyone got home this evening, tales of first day jitters, rekindled friendships and gripes about homework spilled forth from around the dinner table. Much of the night was spent completing first day paperwork, preparing for tomorrow, reminding the kids and being reminded of strict bedtimes and proclaiming more than once the fact that it is “a school night.” But even now as I am sitting here churning this post out, my eyes are burning and I am disliking myself severely for utilizing this hour for writing, when resting in the Lord for a solid 8 would be such a better alternative. The reality though, is that my writing has been my “me time” for this last year and I owe it to myself to take a moment or two to simply decompress each day, even if I end up looking like Droopy in the morning as a result.
Still, the idea of a 5am wake-up call to iron clothes, pack lunches, make breakfast, smell breaths (you’d be surprised how many times “oh, I forgot to brush my teeth” comes up during goodbye kisses) and see my babies off has me rolling my eyes and gnashing my teeth. We’ve only gotten one day under our belts, how in the world am I going to make it until June? Obviously, I am going to need you prayer-warriors to send up a couple to The Father. Either that, or we just might end up doing The Pack Academy from the comfort of my bedroom living room; back packs optional.