Monday, August 25, 2008

Today my life snaps back into place

I feel re-energized today. I made it to 40. No more 39.997 and holding--I have made it to the big milestone. My thirties were fantastic but I truly do feel ready for something new. It's interesting that this coincides with the first day of school, as my daughter starts fourth grade. She's a different person, too, all of a sudden. She has a new classroom & teachers, and new responsibilities. I drew a line in the sand that set the expectation that she would make own her lunch starting this year. We practiced in third grade, but she had not really taken ownership of the task.

So this morning, she set her alarm, got up on her own, and got dressed. We ate breakfast together and then she did make her own lunch and got ready to go on time. It was so civilized.

This was an incredibly simple family moment, but I mention it because this is a new phase of parenting, as I am sure that anyone with toddlers would agree!

My forties begin with my daughter's growing capability at age nine, and will conclude with her independence as she turns 19. We are at the start of a whole new season.

I am so grateful for school starting as I push to finish revising Mojo Mom. When I negotiated my deal with Gotham I said that I absolutely needed two to three weeks to work after school started, and that was the smartest request I've made so far.

During the summer our whole family felt completely untethered. That may sound freeing, but it was actually disconcerting to try to work without the support of our normal routines. Even with a fair amount of day camp (which we were privileged to have), it just wasn't the same. Today we snapped back into a satisfying framework that the school day creates for each member of our family, right down to our dog's walk schedule.

The feeling of new beginnings is in the air, and I even had a school anxiety dream last night. I dreamed that I was back teaching at my old school, and I walked in to the classroom to teach Chemistry without preparing. I opened my notebook and expected to jump right in, but found that I couldn't! Then I realized I had been away for nine years, so of course it didn't come back to me all at once.

I'll take the energy from that cautionary tale and put it back into something I do know how to do--finish my book!

For all of you Mojo Moms waiting for school to start, whether it's next week or next year, it is coming, and it's a good thing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, whippersnapper.

11:44 AM  

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