School, Pill Popping and more by Robin Gorman Newman

Seth started fourth grade this week.

It was emotional for me….though he didn’t know it.

I cried the first day he left on the bus.  I needed the tearful release.

It always feels so abrupt…the overnight shift from summer to school.  In the blink of an eye, no more pool…and hello homework (though thankfully not thus week).

He came home with a huge loose leaf binder that barely fit in his backpack.  It was chockful of linked paper, folders and tabs.  It looked so official.  It reminded me of my school days. The subjects were neatly labeled, and my mind fast forwarded to middle school, high school and beyond.  For a moment, I even had a flash of the empty nest thing I hear so much about.  I know we’re years ago from that, but I also know that times goes fast.

We attended Open House at Seth’s school this week and got to meet his new teacher, the kids in his class and see some new and familiar parents.  We all sat anxiously taking in the academic experience that our kids will have and hoping for a year that is rewarding, and hopefully not too overwhelming.

I said under my breathe to myself that I hope this teacher doesn’t get pregnant.  That’s been Seth’s track record since kindergarten.  He’s a bit of a fertility charm, it would seem.  He gets assigned the young, attractive teachers who are highly recommended, and then they exit during his school year on maternity leave.   It’s disruptive and disappointing.  Hopefully Mrs. Pellegrini, his instructor this year, will break the pattern.

The start of Seth’s school year gets me thinking about my year.

It makes me want to take a hard look at my to do list, establish priorities, and full speed ahead.  Of course, this is in between making sure I’m home in time for Seth, planning his schedule, etc.  My time is not entirely my own, but in the time that I have, there is a lot I can accomplish, and I like the feeling of productivity.  It suits me. 

This summer was mostly not a good one for me…..jumping from one health challenge to another.  In that sense, I’m not sad to leave it behind.  I’m facing life now with some chronic challenges….a significant knee injury and big time allergies that are making me miserable.  I had no idea that allergies can feel this way, and I feel for all plagued by them.  I turned 52 in August, and I’m learning that my body is changing, and I have to get with the program.  Part of it may be due to peri-menopause, so we’ll see what the future brings, but for now, my house feels like a bit of a pharmacy….between supplements and prescription meds. My dad turned 94 this summer, G-d bless him.  And, while I’m decades younger than him, my home is looking more ‘n more like his with all the pill bottles strewn about.  I send email reminders to myself so I don’t forget the pill I am supposed to take mid day.

I recognize that change is part of life.  If things were to remain stagnant,they might be a bit boring.  But, what about the saying “no news is good news”?!  I’ve always been a fan of that.  I realize that things are unpredictable, and my health has made me feel a bit vulnerable of late.  I’m not alone.  Several friends I’d share with have expressed the same sentiment.  And, with each decade this rings truer.

All is I can do is endeavor to practice good self care and educate myself in ways that are beneficial.

Time marches on for all of us, our children included.