That sigh you hear…? It's the collected sigh of relief from parents everywhere as their children return to school, as they mingle with old friends and new, as they get used to new teachers and new routines, as the dust settles on the first week of classes.
A sigh of relief not just because a return to school means a return to a routine (a routine that us parents become very good at over the years), and not just because for us working moms we now get a reprieve from the summer expense of child care. But also a sigh of relief because the first week is so fraught with concerns and worries – all little, but as a parent, you can't help but enlarge them. Will he be okay on the bus? Will he make new friends? Is she going to like her teacher? Will she eat her lunch?
A friend of mine was upset because her daughter and son had been put in the same split grade; another friend whose daughter started kindergarten was worried because she wouldn't know any of the other kids; the mother of one of Erik's friend's confided that she was concerned her son will have a hard time adjusting after a summer of fun.
Oh yeah. Been there. And I'd like to say now that my three are in grades 5, 4 and 2 that I've stopped listening to those niggling doubts and worries. But I haven't. I still wonder if Anna will mind that she is in a different class from her friend. Or if Erik will be more assertive this year. Or if Grace will make a special friend of her own instead of always hanging out with her sister.
But while I can't stop my brain from thinking this stuff up, I know from experience that I am making it bigger than it needs to be, and that in the end there is one over-riding truth. The kids will be all right. No matter what gets thrown at them, what obstacles get in their way, or what concerns I may have, they will adapt and they will succeed.
All is well.