Along with back to school time comes Open House. Over the past week I have attended three open houses for elementary school, middle school, and high school. I think I have even lost a few pounds from all the walking I did to get to each child’s class. Last night was the most challenging. It was Open House at my daughters High School. I have two in high school this year and as I stood in the front of their huge school, my head started hurting thinking about how I was going to get to twelve classes to represent both of them.With their schedules in one hand and a four page map in the other, I began my quest to find their homeroom classes. I pass parents whose children went to preschool with my girls. We say the typical words we never thought we would say, “how did we ever do this”??? I was running a little late and ran to get to homeroom class before the bell rang (yes, they actually rang the bell). I didn’t make it in time so I had to walk in after the teacher had started talking. I actually broke out in a sweat. It was like having a flashback to twenty years ago. My first thought upon entering the crowded room was the same one I had as a young freshman. “Why did I wear this shirt and why didn’t I wear my hair down?” I did a quick scan of the room to decide which desk to sit in and was surprised to see that even as I am entering my forties, I could still pick out the jock, the homecoming queen, the brainiac, and the shy ones. I grabbed the closest seat, everyone staring at me as I walked in late. Every 10 minutes the bell would ring and we would have five minutes to get to the next class. When we were teenagers, 5 minutes seemed like a long time. When I was in my teens, during that break, I always had enough time to go into the bathroom and fix my scrunchie and put on my lipsmakers. Fast forward 20 years and I am huffing and puffing to get to each class. I am surprised that the kids don’t need a GPS to find their way around. I swear the high school campus is as big as the university I attended. By the time we got to the sixth period my knees hurt, I was short of breath, sweaty, and worn out. I heard one kid snicker when his mom asked how far away his next class was. He mumbled to her, “Now you see what I go through”. It is true!!!! Sometimes when I pick my daughters up from school I find myself reminiscing about those good ole easy high school days. But as I sit here with icy hot on my sore knees, I think tomorrow when I pick them up I won’t miss it as much.
In the blink of an eye I went from the suburban mom who had it all to a single mom of six facing divorce, death, and moving. So what do you do when life throws you so many curves? You pick yourself up and find out you are stronger than you ever imagined. Blythe Newsome