Back To School

There is nothing more calming for me then the sound of one of my young sons playing with their guys. Army men mixed with Star Wars clones battling it out for the top shelf. I don’t know why, but when life gets overwhelming and spins me upside down, watching them play in their wonderful world of make-believe puts everything straight and right again.

We are back in LA. My mom was stellar once again with matza ball soup and a stocked fridge waiting for us. We weren’t in the house but for ten minutes when Husband received a very frustrating work email and then couldn’t reach the necessary people. Not fair as it translated into no sleep for him, or for me. Why do people do that?? Why send an email to someone on a plane, who is going to land with a head full of jet lag and then not be available? Why not wait until the next morning and let that person sleep? Rant over. But it did taint our arrival.

I suppose that incident is a normal life occurrence and made our return instantly just that; normal. We are here now and life moves on. School is quickly approaching and the emails are coming in fast and furious. Four grades, two schools, room parent meetings, volunteer schedules for the insane things I must have signed up for whilst drunk one evening in the summer, mandatory volunteering for AYSO soccer, tutors, music, tennis, hebrew for son number two, school supplies, schedules, after school sports, and of course play dates and birthday party invitations. Oh me oh my.

I went into Office Depot and couldn’t believe I was buying supplies again. Where did the year go? I’ve been blogging for over a year now and it doesn’t feel like the right representation of time. The beginning of the school year, whether in LA or London, is the same. There are those mothers who, from day one of summer time, have known which class their child is going to be in, which tutor or sport or class they will attend after school, what life is going to look like three months from now and they’ve seriously bought all the supplies for it. And then there are those who rock up the day before the start without any of the print-outs or uniform or notebooks or shots. I am not as bad as the latter, but evidently not far off as I’ve already missed a mandatory school meeting – that I set up! Gone are my mornings to sleep in which represents a huge part of my own personal body clock rhythm; without 8 hours of sleep I’m really not a nice person and who wants to miss the Seinfeld double episode Monday through Friday that ends at 11pm??

We went to a BBQ today where one of the mom’s kids had already gone back to school. She was slightly more uptight and stressed about the work load that awaited them upon their return home. And then there was the rest of us drinking watermelon vodka cocktails. It’s impossible to avoid the school stress on some level and I’m here to say it’s universal. London moms don’t communicate it as much, but perhaps are more silently competitive. LA moms hike and chat and have coffee and chat and do yoga and chat and deal with the stresses more collectively. For me, if it’s not my issue I’m a good listener, if it is my issue I’m a good talker and if I’m totally freaked out about the issue, I run a mile from any chatter.

Thoughts at the beginning of the school year are the same as new year resolutions; I’m going to cook more interesting food for the family; I’m going to be uber organized and keep the kids on schedule, on time; I’m going to work out, eat right, enforce bed times, give more vitamins,read to the boys at night and not scream so much. I will be amazing and wonder how I do it all.

And then, I’m sure, I will wake up the first morning before the alarm, cursing the bags under my eyes and scream ‘breakfast’ so loudly that I lose my voice before school even begins!! I will send them off at carpool only to realize as I pull into my own driveway that one of their important bags has been left in the car. Ooohhh, I cannot wait.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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