Back to School Emotion Headquarters: Chances Are We've Got You Covered Whether You're Feeling Happy, Excited, or Just Plain Freaked Out
We're running the full gamut of emotions here at Douglas Back to School Headquarters.
We've got one kid who is both excited and nervous, one who is on anxiety overload, and two kids who are doing everything possible to ignore the fact that school is starting next week.
The nonchalance brothers are my middle two kids. They tend to be laid back about most things, but they're freaking me out with their devil-may-care attitude about heading back to school. They claim they don't need any school supplies. Not even a pen. And one of them says he doesn't need any new clothes either (this despite the fact that he's at least three or four inches taller than he was this time last year).
I guess he'll finally decide to head out and pick up some jeans on the first day when it's too cold to wear his shorts to school. It's his brother I'm more concerned about: the boy who will be moving away to college in four more days, and who hasn't started packing yet. (The year I headed off to university, I started packing in July. Granted I took way too much stuff. Maybe he's on the right track.)
My youngest is covering the anxiety beat for the family (okay, with a little help from me). I can't say I blame him for being a bit apprehensive about heading back to school even though I feel like he's going to be nurtured and supported and appreciated for who he is at his brand new school. I wouldn't be putting him back in school on any other terms. I know he's going to thrive at this school (or, I should say, I know it to the extent that it's possible for a mother's intuition to predict these things). He's just spent a couple of wonderfully happy weeks at the day camp run by this school. (He loved it so much that he went back and volunteered at the camp for an extra week.) But that was called "camp" and this is called "school." A simple word may be the only difference at work here, but a word like "school" changes everything to a child who has been terribly wounded in the past by that word.
My oldest is also excited and nervous. She's also starting college next week. She's had her textbooks and school supplies ready for weeks. Her worries are the very same kind she had back when she was in kindergarten ("What if I can't find my classes?") but this time she's all grown up. At least this time around, I don't have to worry about her heading home on the wrong school bus -- like I did when she was four-years-old. She's going to be driving herself back and forth to school. Of course, that brings up a whole different set of worries.
Hey, maybe I should just keep these worry lists on my computer and file them away and pull them up at the appropriate time so I don't forget to worry about something at the appropriate time. You know: JK worries, SK worries, first birthday party worries, first best friend worries, first sleepover worries, starting a new school worries, new driver worries, college worries, first job worries, etc. I'm just not sure I have enough space on my hard-drive. I'll have to continue to rely on my main operating system -- mom memory. So far, that system seems to be doing a very thorough job of resurrecting just the right worries at just the right time.