There are so many thoughts and emotions running wild in my head right now that I really don’t even know where to start this post. So, let’s go with something safe… our traditional first day of school breakfast!
Since John’s first day of Kindergarten, we’ve started the first day of school with pancakes. This year Krusteaz sent us a few boxes of their new protein pancake mix to try so we saved it for the first day! Krusteaz is our favorite boxed mix by FAR and I was excited to see that they now have a protein version. They boys didn’t say a word about it tasting different so I didn’t even mention that it was.
Every year Honey uses the pancake pen to make them each a pancake with the number of the grade they are starting. Why? I don’t know. It’s just what we do. :-) We used to also spell out their names, but they are way too ravenous for that these days.
Whit’s bus comes around 7:10-7:15 and John doesn’t have to leave for middle school until 8:45. Since we have different start times I didn’t even set a cute table. Each kid ate on their own at the bar. boo hoo hoo
It felt so odd to be doing all of this with just the little guy. Sending him off was just fine – he is excited about his teacher, was so happy to see all the kids at the bus stop, and thrilled to get back in the routine of shooting hoops at 7AM. :-)
John was up early, shortly after Whit left, and already ready for his first day of sixth grade. Gulp. See, this is why I didn’t know how to start this post. We are staring a new chapter this year. Middle school. MIDDLE SCHOOL. That strange and awkward place where 6th graders look like young boys and 8th graders look like men. Where the rules from one family to the next can be as different as night and day. Where parents aren’t really welcome and have no idea what goes on during the day. Where they go outside once a week for about 20 minutes, if they earn it. Where only a very, very small portion of his elementary school attends and where he really knows just a few kids. Yeah, that’s the place I’m sending my first born.
For the record, he is absolutely fine with it. Excited even!! Which is amazing!!!!! But I’m just dying inside because I remember middle school well. It’s not like my three years there were traumatic or even bad, thankfully, but I saw things and learned things and had my feelings hurt and was excluded from some things and didn’t understand other things. I thought my parents hated me at times (no you can’t shave your legs, no you can’t wear makeup, no, no, no, no, no… ) and felt pressure to perform well in school and ballet and life in general (that pressure didn’t come from my parents, by the way, it was all me) ALL the time. I had braces and bangs and a perm and overall looked like a train wreck. I guess I’m just not ready for him to have to grow up in these ways, yet I’m so incredibly grateful that he CAN grow up healthy and loved and that I get be his mom through it all.
Another thing that’s been heavily weighing on my mind about middle school is his privacy. Outside of some family trips and their summer fun video series (which was all their idea and is FINE with me), John hasn’t had much of a presence here or on my Instagram at all. I struggle with that because I know that many of you came to know and love Dixie Delights through my boys and my adventures in being their mom. Y’all have loved him and cheered for him and supported him since he was a newly minted 5 year old, which is just mind boggling. But he has school mates on social media now (he is not), and parents of school mates on social media, and I would never, ever want something here to be used against him in any way.
I’m sharing this to say that, at forty-something years old, I too am going through some middle school growing pains. I know I won’t do it perfectly and I’m sure I will slip up, but I’m working hard to find a happy medium between continuing to share my life as a mom, wife, crafter, decorator, Disney-lover, etc. and doing that in a safe and respectful manner for my son. I’m SO proud of him that my first reaction is to share every detail of his life – shouting his successes from the rooftop and seeking guidance on his struggles from those that are a little ahead of me. But I know that it is time to temper all of that with the reality that his generation is growing up on social media, with astonishingly large groups of them on text chains, Snapchat, Instagram, House Party (omg!), and the internet, and the last thing he needs in learning how to navigate all of this at eleven years old is his blogger mom fueling a fire.
He doesn’t make decisions for me, but I’m hoping he can with me. He isn’t at all disappearing from here, but when he is here I hope it is in a thoughtful, agreeable manner. And so, while he did happily pose with his first day of 6th grade sign with his clean hair cut and new Vineyard Vines lacrosse tee (be still my heart… have we outgrown athleisure wear 24/7?), I made the hard decision not to share it. Gulp.
On another note, I was making myself sick worrying about how I was going to manage being at Coke a few days a week for work by 8AM (which means leaving my house at 7:15) when John didn’t start school until 9:10AM. When I lost my job there it felt like a huge weight had been lifted in that respect. The beautiful thing about my new travel agent gig is that it is 100% from home!!!! So, guess who is a carpool mom now? This chick. :-)
I pray that my boys continue to love school, that they model kindness, grace and manners every day, that their teachers are loving, compassionate and engaging, that they find at least one good friend in their class, and that this is the best year yet!
Happy Tuesday, y’all!!! Whew!
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED