School year started. Man, oh, man, I had no idea the world worked on some kind of schedule. Oh, sure, I was once a kid, I remember the long lazy days of summer, the “Back-to-school” ads on TV and in the paper, and the nearly violent yanking from summer days to regulated Fall school time. But that was a long time ago. Since then, I’ve been a musician, for gosh sakes. Calendars and seasons mean very little to a musician. Sure, you can book a gig for triple the normal asking fee on New Year’s Eve, and you have to always remember never to book a gig on Super Bowl Sunday (which isn’t a holiday that shows up on regular calendars but is the absolute worst day on which to be playing a concert). But “Back to School”? Sorry, it doesn’t cause even the tiniest ripple in a musician’s consciousness.
But now I have a son going to school. He needs jeans that can reach all the way to his shoes, he needs shoes that don’t squeeze his growing feet, he needs school supplies, the teachers need to meet his parents, he needs to meet his teachers, there’s a whole ton of stuff that needs to be thought of and organized. And, while I know it was hard for me as a kid to gear up for a new year of school with a new teacher and classmates and all, it also just kind of blindsided me back then. I wasn’t self-aware enough to know my own fears, and I just kept rolling with summer until all of a sudden I was being packed off to school with my lunch in a pail.
Now, as a parent, I am acutely aware of what a big deal it is for my son. He was, like the little Me of decades ago, merely blindsided by actual first day of school. He was overwhelmed and yet rolled with it all. By now, after a week and a half of school, he’s enjoying the new routine. Loving it, even. And he has no idea of the preparation that went into getting him to his first day of school 🙂 Parenting is a hoot, and a kick, and a whole lot of niggling work that I just never expected. Once again, I’ve been blindsided!