My back-to-school motivation is shot to hell.
I haven't done the shopping.
I lost the supply lists.
I don't know when the buses are set to arrive.
As mentioned in previous posts, I have three kids in three
different CPS schools. Two of them are on Regular Track, and one is
on Track E (year-round, shorter breaks). Communication packets and
subsequent retractions of communication packets arrive weekly.
Because I do not own a date stamp, I could not tell you what the
current thinking is on any school issue.
Instead, I've been ignoring it all and watching "Maury
This is not who I normally am as a mother. I view education as
the Holy Grail. I supplement my kids' brain development with chess
and music lessons. I love flashcards more than life itself.
This year is different. The fire is gone. And I'm not sure
With one full week of Track E under my belt, I patiently
tolerate the broad window for when Joey's bus arrives. It could be
8:30. It could be 9:15. I've taken to making bets with my middle
son on when exactly the bus will appear. It keeps things
interesting. Plus, I'm up $1.25.
Last year, I grew irate over the irregular and unpredictable
pick-up times. Getting three kids out the door starting at 6:45
a.m. did not allow for unreliable lapses in the schedule.
Things have changed. I am so "whatever." There is not a single
blip in the old blood pressure.
Last year, I complained incessantly about the supply lists that
had me purchasing enough items for a classroom of kids as well as
an entire janitorial department at a major university. I was buying
bleach, postage stamps, Windex and clipboards. I was half-convinced
I was subsidizing the Census department's administrative office as
well as fingerprint removal for "The Bean."
Not now. I figure I'll send the kids to school with a couple of
pencils and hope for the best.
Last year, I had all of the fall activities carefully mapped
out. Yet with the new, longer day, many of the Chicago Park
District's activities start before my kids even get home from
With a looming teachers' strike, petitions for new start and
stop times, and a plethora of uncertainty running amok in CPS, I
haven't even mustered enough interest in my kids' scruffy hair to
arrange for cuts for the first day back to school.
Whenever that is.
I no longer call the Board of Education. They are wary of me
(and I think I may be on their security watch list due to some
unfortunate rants about last year's bus service). I no longer scour
each of the school's websites for information and updates. I don't
even know who the teachers are for the different grades.
Despite the wonderful educators, staff, and parents I have
encountered through the years, my passion is diminished.
Uncertainty is paralyzing. It is why I have not yet bought the
supplies or scheduled those haircuts. It is why I don't get upset
when the bus never comes.
Tiger Mom has been replaced with Tired Mom. The battle hymn is
muted, the warrior weakened.
And all my neighbors keep dropping off Catholic School
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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