Friday, August 22, 2014

Off to a Bang-Up Start. Literally.

Day 5 of our first week back to school.

I'm not sure what's happening, but my give-a-shit-o-meter is dangerously low for this stage of the game.

I didn't exactly get things off on the right foot, as I had a wreck the day before school started. I was on my way to the grocery store to stock up on all the back-to-school goods...nutritious (ahem) breakfast food, school lunch items, and the kids' favorite afternoon snacks. I was debating with myself on which grocery store to go to and at the last minute decided to pass my usual (because it's the closest and usually less expensive), to go to the one a little further down the road (because it is almost always less crowded and therefore more pleasant). Plus I remembered I had a coupon for that particular store. I love my coupons.

As I made the decision to drive on, I ran a red light that falls right after the entrance to the first grocery store parking lot. I RAN A RED LIGHT. I am that annoying driver who will stop when approaching a light that just turned yellow - with not only enough time for myself, but also the 3 cars behind me, to get through the intersection before it turns red. That's me and I RAN A RED LIGHT. I hit a car. It was terrifying. Had it been ONE SECOND later I would have missed the car completely. Had it been ONE SECOND earlier, that car would have plowed directly into the passenger side of my car - where my 13 year-old daughter was sitting. It's really better that I not play the "what if" game, because the thought of that particular "what if" literally makes me nauseous.

Fortunately, it was not a major accident. In fact, the damage (or more accurately - lack thereof) was remarkable. I barely clipped the car's tail end. And miraculously (thank you, God!) no one was injured.

I wasn't texting or talking on the phone or eating or changing the radio station or yelling at my kids in the backseat. I wasn't fighting off falling asleep and I hadn't just spilled hot coffee in my lap. I hadn't been drinking or doing drugs or any of the things that we associate with "careless" drivers. I was simply thinking through my grocery list, the rest of my day, the upcoming week…and my mind wandered for a split second. And in that split second I managed to become a "careless" driver.

So, unfortunately, the lesson I have to pass along is a virtually impossible one called "Don't ever lose focus not even for two seconds and not even if you have one million things on your mind." Do with that what you will.

*I will say this, though - if you text and drive: STOP. Really. STOP it NOW.*

And now comes the part where I get all cliche…
Remember every day is a gift.
Life can change in an instant.
Even responsible people make mistakes.

Right. This post was not supposed to be about me playing crash-up derby.

Moving on...

Back to school. Most years I reside in the camp of, "I'm soooo sad that summer is over…Oh look! There's the bus I'll see you in seven hours byeeeee."

This year? Notsomuch. Our summer passes with increasing speed each year. I don't know if it's because we are able to have more and more fun the older the children get, or if the earth is actually spinning faster. Either way, on the night before school started we sat in the back yard after dinner, our feet dangling in the pool as we watched the sun set behind the towering redwoods. I thought to myself, "Wow. That was fast. It feels like it was just yesterday I was counting the days until summer vacation would start, and here we go again." I was genuinely sad to see it end.

And then we went upstairs, set our alarms, and went to bed.

Day one: I yelled at my youngest for being overly dramatic about having to get up before 10 a.m.
Day two: I overslept. Dropped daughter off literally one minute before the bell.
Day three: I realized I never posted back-to-school pictures. And I took a whole 4!
Day four: I forgot to send my daughter's volleyball uniform with her for team pictures.
And today - day 5 - my son came downstairs with shorts that were borderline too small, his shirt wrinkled and on backwards, his hair not brushed. I made him turn his (still wrinkled) shirt around, but I used the hand-lick-hair-swipe move to fix the broken parts in lieu of a fight over going back upstairs to use an actual brush. Also he wore the shorts.

I'm sitting here considering opening a bottle of wine at 10 a.m. in celebration that I've actually gotten them to their designated locations - on time (barely) - 5 days in a row. I've even remembered to pick them up. So yay.

I often use holidays as a gauge for how much effort I should be putting forth throughout the school year. For example, I usually wait to start checking out until around President's Day, giving it a good ol' college try at least through Christmas. And in my opinion, assigning major projects after Easter is a real asshole move.

But at the rate I'm currently going, my kids will be lucky to find a handful of crushed goldfish crackers and a slice of processed cheese in their lunches by Columbus Day which, in case you didn't know, is at he beginning of October. Whatever. 

Have your kids started the new school year? How's it going so far? 

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