School starts in a little more than ten days.
Every September I do the same thing.
I vow to start the school year off differently.
And then I disappoint myself by not following through.
This year will be different.
This year I will not disappoint myself.
Because this year I will be realistic.
Here is my pledge for the upcoming school year:
This year before the first day of school I will have all the plastic containers for lunches organized and easily accessible.
And by October, half of them will be lost or missing their tops, rendering them totally useless.
This year, I will be at least five minutes early to drop the kids off in the morning on the first day of school.
That will be the only day that ever happens.
This year, I will start the first week of school with a refrigerator stocked full of healthy choices for the kids’ lunches.
By the second week of school, their lunch options will be a heel of bread, half a jar of the jelly that nobody likes, raisins, and water.
This year, on the first day of school, I will check the website for school events and immediately write them on the calendar.
I will neglect to actually look at the calendar, though, and I will not realize that any of those events are taking place until about 3 hours before the start time.
This year I will volunteer to help out for three class parties, and I will forget to attend at least one of them.
This year, on the first day of school, my kids will come home and sit at a designated and organized work space to do their homework.
By the end of September, the work space will be piled high with crap, and they will be doing their homework on the couch in the living room.
This year, I will have a well-balanced snack waiting on the kitchen counter when the kids walk in the door after their first day of school.
By the fourth day of school, they will walk in the door and fend for themselves.
On the first day of school, I will diligently check all the papers that come home from the teachers.
The next time I check the papers will be sometime after Columbus Day.
This year I will make sure the kids know what they are going to wear on the first day of school and have their outfits neatly laid out in their rooms the night before.
By the third day of school, I will be rifling through the laundry for a pair of socks three minutes before it’s time to leave.
This year, I will remind the kids to find their library books the day before they have library so that they can check out a new book on library day.
We will locate the books they check out on that second day of library sometime in June.
This year I will check to make sure that the kids bring home their jackets and gloves after the first day it’s cool enough to wear them to school.
And then, sometime in December, I will go into the lost and found in the cafeteria and pick up at least fourteen missing articles of clothing.
This year, I will check the kids’ assignment books every day on the first week of school to make sure they are writing in them.
Then, in January, I will check again and see three months of blank pages.
This year I will fill out all forms the day that —
eh, fuck it.
Let’s be honest.
I will never fill out one form the teacher sends home on time, and I will get at least three that say *2nd copy* in red marker on the top.
And this year, as I am scrambling to find something five minutes before it is due,
I will swear and vow that next year,
next year, I am definitely going to do things differently.