And so it begins, before the humidity dissipates, before the first cool breeze of fall rustles through the trees, the house of cards I call “the school year” is already underway.
It happens in subtle ways at first. Emails from the school, back-to-school shopping, forms to fill out, carpool calendars to arrange, and then suddenly, boom, it is in full swing. There are games and dance practices to attend, school projects, class trips, and squares crammed with illegible red Sharpie entries on my big wall calendar from OfficeMax.
These are the days I lie awake in my head ticking off the lists of things that need to be done the next morning, things that can’t be forgotten, changes to the daily schedule, things that were forgotten that must be made right.
I know inevitably that things will fall through the cracks. They always do. Someone will not have something she needs for school, I will forget to schedule an appointment with the eye doctor for one daughter and then anxiously wring my hands when I can’t figure out how to get both kids home from school at different times on any given day.
I try to tell myself that I have been doing this for years, that it will be OK. I tell myself to breathe. No one is going to die if she doesn’t have the right socks for sports or shoes for P.E. Some days it will not be possible to get everyone where they have to be — home from school, to practice, from practice.
On those days, something will have to give. I think I can, I think I can.
By October, the house of cards will be a well-oiled machine held together by scotch tape, prone to be toppled by the occasional heavy breeze, but it will survive, we all will, “God willing and the river don’t rise” as my mother used to say …
Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.