Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

The grass is greener…

“Why do I have to go to orientation?! It’s not SCHOOL! 3 days at school this week is not fair!!” This is the whining of one of my teenagers!

“I only get one day at school and it’s mostly orientation?!! Not fair! I hate staggered entry” This is the whining from the other teenager!

I sit back and shake my head! Both are starting school this week and they both wish they had the other one’s schedule. Welcome to life with teenagers!

School is back and the first day of school posts are filling up my social media feed! I love watching the faces of the kids in the pictures. From the glowing excited preschoolers, the excited, but nervous elementary students, the often scowling junior high students, to the “meh” high school students who are inwardly saying “You’ve got to be kidding mom! I’m practically an adult and this photo tradition is lame!”

There are parents posting teary tributes to their “baby’s” last year of high school and parents posting happy posts of the return to the routine of fall. I’ve even seen nostalgic posts from parents whose children are long done with school posting about the days gone by.

Heading back to school can be nerve wracking for our kids. Covid-19 uncertainty has ramped it up. To mask or not to mask… that is the question! For foster kids starting in a new school, or going back to a school that they may have to leave mid year it can be hard. They wish for the familiar camaraderie of friends reuniting after summer with years of school history together. Or maybe they wish they were somewhere else as they head back to face the mockers and bullies who made their life hard last year.

Often times we wish for the thing we don’t have… instead of appreciating what we do have. I think my two teenagers would have complained no matter how the first week of school rolled out. Not because they don’t like school… they actually both do… but because complaining is a way of venting the anxiety that they can’t quite identify and don’t know how to deal with.

They both came home yesterday with stories and happy faces. Tales of familiar faces and teachers that seem like they might be mean. Talking of what was already boring and what the various options they are in might look like. And then they were back to complaining. One that they have to go to school again on Friday, and the other that they don’t get to go to school on Friday!!

I sit back and am thankful for two kids who can voice their opinion on things and believe that we want to hear what they have to say. That is very different from the two children who started school two years ago from our home. I hope the Othermother gets to see the amazing human beings they are becoming. I don’t think she’d recognize them.

Now to work on that attitude of gratitude before they drive me crazy with all their negative bickering!!

In the midst of the mess


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