Take a Deep Breath

‘Tis the season.

No, not that season. It will be that season soon enough, so you should probably start making your list and checking it twice.

Take a deep breath.

You have, like, 128 days until Christmas. Your kids will likely be in school for around 80 of those days, factoring in for weekends, other holidays, and the inevitable sick days. Your job and miscellaneous volunteer responsibilities will eat up 90 or so days. Most of those days – school days and work days – overlap, of course.

The math is getting complicated, but the point is, you have roughly one month to get ready for the holidays. Not one consecutive month, but still. Stop panicking about Christmas.

What you should be panicking about is school.

Take another deep breath. There is, in fact, nothing about which to panic. This is all you need to do between now and the first day of school, in no particular order:

  1. Fill out the registration paperwork (Bonus time if your district now has an online option, as mine does. Heaven, I tell you. I gained hours of non-form-filling-out life.)
  2. Fill out the Tell Me About Your Child forms.
  3. Realize you don’t know the answers to all of the questions on the Tell Me About Your Child forms. How is this possible? What is his favorite subject? Minecraft?
  4. Buy backpacks.
  5. Return backpacks, because they were the wrong colors.
  6. Buy more backpacks.
  7. Buy new lunch containers.
  8. Decide what to put in the lunch containers. No, children, fruit strips are not, in fact, fruit. Yes, they have fruit in them, but no, they don’t count. I’m not having this discussion again.
  9. Sign up for PTA.
  10. Regret signing up for PTA.
  11. Renew your commitment to PTA and being an involved, active parent.
  12. (Those last three items occurred over a 37-second time span.)
  13. Buy spirit gear.
  14. Exchange spirit gear for new sizes, because they may live at your house, but it’s hard to get a handle on how quickly the kids grow.
  15. Buy new pants for the kids. See above, re: quick growth.
  16. Buy new pants for yourself. See: summer indulgences.
  17. Assess the pencil situation in your house. You have 783 pencils. Two of them are sharpened. One has a working eraser.
  18. Remedy the pencil situation. (Bonus: sharpening pencils kills a couple hours during those last, dog days of summer.)
  19. Set up the homework station.
  20. Realize the kids will never recall where pencils, paper, hole punchers, staplers, erasers, glue, etc. live, even though you worked together to set up the homework station.
  21. Make a daily game plan to help with the morning rush and the after school insanity.
  22. Now is a great time to organize your recipes and plan a month of meals in advance, making dinner a snap.
  23. Hahahahaha.
  24. Organize the sports calendar, the piano calendar, the play date calendar.
  25. Realize you may not be doing as well “fighting the over-scheduling of our children” as you once believed you were.
  26. Meet the teachers. Pray you do a convincing on-the-ball parent act.
  27. Just pray. Period. For the teachers, the kids, the staff, your family’s sanity.

See? Nothing to it.

Maybe we should all take one more deep breath.