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Sep 12, 2013

A Lesson in Gratitude

I'm sure that, just like I did, all of you greeted the new school year with joy, sorrow, relief and dread.

Joy for some quiet time and possibly relief from additional day care costs.

Sorrow for that youngest baby who started kindergarten or High School, or whom you last saw through your tears and the rear view mirror as you drove away from their college dorm.

Relief from the "craft days" that resulted in more glue on your velvet sofa in the living room (into which Absolutely No One went that day, cross our hearts!) than on the macaroni and paper for which it was meant. Or the extra food bills because ya gotta feed those kids and they have friends....big ones. And they know you have food....

Dread because of the upcoming birthday parties that they might not be invited to, the teams they won't get selected for, the prom dates, and the homework... oh my God the homework....

My MiniMe started High School the other day. Her first day of High School was her first day of public school, her first day in a grade that had more than 25 kids in it (380 kids in her Freshman class), first school day not wearing a uniform, her first ride on a school bus - ever.

She got a weird elective that is an introduction into the school's "career track", she didn't get the Latin class she wanted (gee, public school, thanks for the heads up on that one - not), she got an AP class for history (I didn't know they did that for Freshman - but thanks for the College Credit!).

She's adjusting... we're adjusting....

I know for sure that the DogMan is happy to be back to his morning Dog Park schedule with our regular posse! There have been a few changes there, too.... Dog Man doesn't get to see his friend, Mac, because his owner gets out later in the day than she has the last few years. Blonde Maggie has been "replaced" by Little Maggie because Blonde Maggie comes earlier, and Little Maggie comes with her owner after dropping her Boy at school.  Little Maggie's friend, Tula, has joined us as well, which is great. Her mom is totally cool... and Wiley is still as crazy as ever and with his super cool mom who is just as in awe of some of the stuff that goes on around here as I am...

Ofcourse the human Dog Park Posse pretty much echoes the Dog Pack.... we stand around and talk about our kids, parenting our parents, parenting our children, how are we going to pay for college, whose kid got what teacher and are they horrible or are they great....

So, as our school year has settled in, the Human Posse has started checking in with one another... "How was that parent coffee? How many of those damned things can one person go to?", "How is the new school/ teacher?"....

So far, everyone is up beat and off to a good start. One 5th grader is overwhelmed by the size of her class, but the school is being proactive. My MiniMe is busy getting back into the swing of things and relearning the meaning of time management (no, you do not have 6 hours of homework), as well as getting used to a new environment, a new school format and did I mention: NO UNIFORM!

Two of the Human Posse started to talk to each other about "IEP", "504" and "Whether it's time to get an advocate", or "Hey, first time ever! PPT went well! No one cried!".... and these parents - members of our human "pack - told the rest of us a little bit about their incredible children, who have challenges that none of the rest of us have ever had to deal with.

The learning and communication disabilities, the physical challenges, the arguing with the school, while trying to seem like you are on their side, just to get your kid a place at the desk.

And I realized that it was time to take a lesson in gratitude for just how lucky I am as a Mom (I really am, you should meet the MiniMe - Best. Kid. Ever.), how lucky she is as a kid.

So, I'm going to try to take a step back from being annoyed at the idea of MiniMe making cupcakes in Foods & Nutrition this semester, and the fact that she didn't get the Latin class that she wanted.

I'm going to dry the homework tears and not worry too much about the start of the year blues and confusion,
And I'm going to be thankful that MiniMe has the ability to do most things for herself, and the ability to communicate (whether or not I like what is being communicated!), and the ability to be successful at school and in life.


  1. Love you attitude! Great post ; ) aahhhh another school year, here we go!

  2. Thank you, Sheila! Yes, another school year... Big Daddy and I went to Parent Night last night.... another lesson in gratitude: Teachers who make themselves available to students for extra help at 6AM and after school, every day.

  3. You have so much to be grateful for!! Mini me is so blessed to have you as a Mom!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! You are a tad biased, though.... xo