When one of the eight has a rare sleepover or is away at camp we always call the first hours home, re-entry. The physical change of adding a body back into the flow of life, the desire of the one away to share their experience while at the same time holding onto the time away as their own, sacred "me" time in a family of ten.
Going back to school is always both a re-entry experience for the kids and for parents, especially mom. To get stories, antidotes and obligations sorted out for so many different individuals is down right daunting. Some one needs a family photo, someone needs a different color folder, someone's teacher wanted proof we are actually related to Amelia Earhart (we are), someone outgrew their back to school shoes (in two weeks, how?!) and absolutely everyone needs money.
The first four days I have cried, celebrated, calculated, prayed and navigated with the kids. I have missed my workouts and missed my friends. I have attempted to be calm, all knowing and responsible but felt more young and emotional in the face of stress. Isn't this week supposed to be a monumental relief?
I have goals to create better file systems per grade, per kid, per school. I have goals to pair kids up for homework help and to find ways to manage the one family computer. I am hopeful that the three middle schoolers having school iPads will be a blessing rather than a curse and I know I need to get back to the basics with meal planning and managing driving schedules for our 7 activity schedules this fall.
A dear friend said yesterday "You sure LOOK like you have it all together my dear!" Well, I do not have it all together. I most certainly did not have it all together this week, but I am allowing this first week to be in the category of re-entry and look forward to the second week of school.