Why This Mama Bird Ain’t Happy About Back-To-School

A friend posted a question on Facebook asking, “Are you happy or sad about your kids going back to school?”

The majority of responses were something like, “It’s been fun but I want my routine back!” 

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 1.10.38 PMMy sad face emoticon response was in the minority. I am not excited about my kids heading back to school in the least. 

That might make me sound all, “Oooooh, I’m such a wonderful mother. I enjoy every single second with my perfect children, crafting and baking wholesome snacks, and exploring nature on our many hikes and adventures. Hashtag…. #blessed”

As if. The last thing I hiked up was my skirt at the waterpark. 

Me lamenting my kids return to school doesn’t make me some kind of earnest earth mother who savours each second with her spawn. Of course I savour some seconds, but not all of them. Some seconds/minutes/hours are loud and clingy and annoying and totally cut into my highly coveted “me time.” 

Admittedly, I’ve had it easy. My husband is a teacher, off for the summer. I always have an extra set of hands. I’d be singing a vastly different tune if I was home alone with my kids for sixty-eight days straight. 

To be clear, my kids can’t wait to get back to school. They’re excited to see their friends and meet their new teachers. This anti-BTS BS is all on me. 

My son is going into grade eight. He’s independent. He’s okay, so I’m okay. 

My daughter is going into grade five. She’s become so much more independent. She’s okay, so why am I so decidedly not okay? 

Last fall I sent her back to school in tears. I was ridiculous. Mind you, the last few weeks of summer were nothing short of frightening. Due to a crazy turn of medical events, she choked and stopped breathing. More than once. It was terrifying for all of us so it makes sense why I was nervous about her being out of my sight. And by sight I mean, control. Being a natural born control freak AND the parent of a child with complicated needs is a recipe for… well, this. This anxiety. This fear. This perpetual state of dread. 

Keeping the worry under control takes work. I’m working. But it doesn’t always work. 

Like now. 

Our daughter has Epilepsy. Medications suppresses her seizures, but the electrical misfires are still there in her beautiful brain, lying in wait. 

So when I heard her grinding her teeth in her sleep every night this week, I wondered. 

And the dark purple shadows under her eyes in the morning make me worry. 

Is she having nocturnal seizures again? Is something big brewing? And what if something happens at school? 

At home I can control what she eats. Which isn’t much on a good day. She’s so active, always on the go, burning each and every calorie we manage to get into her. 

At school some days lunches go untouched, valuable calories lost. 

And the choking. Though I cut her food into little bites, without her family there to remind her to “slow down, not so much, swallow your food before you take a drink, no talking with your mouth full,smaller bites please, no jumping with food in your mouth…” I worry. 

Are you getting the picture? school=Avery out of my sight=mom panic

I want my kids to go back to school, to learn, to grow, to leave the nest. 

But the thing is, the nest is safe. It’s a controlled environment for the most part. 

But alas, baby birds need to leave the nest and big ol’ control freak anxious mama birds need to learn to let go. 

So bring on BTS. I’ll try to keep the BS parental anxiety to a minimum. 

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