It’s a distant memory.

You might have celebrated it, but didn’t know it had a name.  

You’d take the day (or at least the morning) off, the kids would actually get out of bed without an argument, assemble the 1st day of school neighborhood photo shoot, & drop them off with new backpacks & a crisp new outfit. 

The best part for me was joining the celebratory workout with my 9:30am crew of fellow parents at Patriot CrossFit, catch lunch with my neighbor (a fellow mom), & finally start planning for fall; taking a moment to enjoy getting back to our regularly scheduled kid programming.

The day already feeling too short, you happily pick up the kids, trying to figure out how their day was without actually asking them (apparently the TOP question NOT to ask your kids to actually find out anything other than “fine.”)  You settle in for an easy pre-planned dinner & watch all the back-to-school Pinterest organization planning slowly dissolve in the matter of a week. 
Magic. 
Like clockwork, every September.

It had a name.  

Mother’s Independence Day.

None of that will happen today.

Back-to-school 2020 is the antithesis of every Mother’s Independence Day there ever was.  

I’m in the acceptance phase.

My single expectation today is to be sure my kids roll out of bed before 8:30am & wear something that doesn’t look like pajamas.   No neighbor lunch, no blissful planning, & maybe a Street Parking workout in my driveway IF the Back-to-School gods are shining on me….that’s a big IF…

I pray for a few things:

– Logins that work
– Microsoft Teams platforms that don’t crash
– My kids making their own lunch & putting their dishes in the dishwasher (keeping expectations low) to prepare for the days when I’m hopefully back at clinic. (Please put away the Nutella so we don’t have to take Abby to the vet!)
– Teachers who have unlimited patience & perseverance to keep this going as long as we have to

I’m a planner by nature.

The last 6 months have tempered me. I stopped planning.  I stopped preparing.  I had to force myself to unpack the pre-ordered box of school supplies yesterday (what 2nd grader needs 8 sticks of glue BTW & where DO all the scissors go every year?) 
Bright side?  A huge bottle of hand sanitizer & 2 small containers of Chlorox Wipes.  (I know.  It’s like striking gold.  I haven’t seen these on a shelf in months!)

OK so I did one tiny thing.  The DGU.

We prepared a DGU each school day for the next 2 weeks (Designated Grown Up). The purpose of the GDU is to observe & bring back information how the heck we’re going to manage a 2nd & 4th grader as well as 2 full time jobs without help (Skills also include basic tech help-desk, sheep-herding 101 & elementary conflict management). I know we’re not the only ones with this challenge, we’re definitely coming at this from a privileged situation & I’m positive I have the best boss ever (ME) and clients ever (YOU) who are totally understanding of any possible scenario. And that’s it. That’s the end of the plan.

9:01am

The designated time when every anticipation, every expectation will be completely out the window.  No reason to plan when in a mere 60 seconds, we’ll need to pivot, be flexible & go in a unanticipated direction

I have a crystal ball. 
I wish.  Actually no, I’m just a mom & I’ve seen it happen so many times with my clients. Remember? Don’t laminate your birth plan…your kids don’t read it.  Same rules apply here. My laminator is stowed safely away out of sight.  (I think it’s an officially banned device in 2020…if it isn’t, it should be.)

It’s a stretch.  A challenge.  An exercise in growth.

I’m trying get ahead of myself- accept the lack of control, give myself & others some grace ahead of time. I can only hope this entire scenario teaches us & our kids resilience in a way we never could have otherwise.

We don’t know what we’re doing.
It’s ok.  We’ve been clueless before.  We make it happen.

Godspeed to all the parents out there today. We don’t know how we’re going to do this, but I have faith we will figure it out.

Reply to this email to let me know you made it (and any survival tips!)

Stay safe-
Carrie

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