September is Like This

As the week wended its way to a close, I started to think about bumps on the road. Maybe having a few deadlines piled up got me thinking about this. The freelance writer gig has so many ups and downs and general insecurity. Meaning, deadlines are good. And meaning, when I have deadlines, I feel tense. Excited, eager—and tense. And when deadlines disappear, I feel defeated and tense, even though I might then have time to find new deadlines that can make me feel eager, excited and tense.

This was the first full week of school. A minor bump occurred when Ezekiel woke up Monday morning with a backache and couldn’t do more than lie in bed all day. And Remy is still adjusting to his new school. If you want to know how it is at about 7:30 in the morning, the answer school—any school, actually—is terrible. Ask the same question after school and you’re likely to learn school is pretty fun. Meantime, Saskia is enjoying her three long days at Sunnyside. Ask the parents and we’d tell you we’re enjoying having a little more time to work, too, although our evenings, with a nap now in the mix, remain grueling. We’re working on helping her go to sleep in a timely fashion. The director of her school is encouraging her, too. Her teacher is promising an extra sticker for nights well to-bedded. Thus far, she’s outlasting her brother at bedtime on a regular basis. He came to read in the hallway while I sat there. He asked me to scratch his back. And…

Saskia played with her friend, Addy, yesterday after gym and swim. They began gym and swim at the Y last week. Addy had to sit this week out, though. She chose a pink cast for her newly broken arm.

Bumps and all, it seems we are finding our way into this new normal, even with the discombobulated nature September possesses.

Although the R42 isn’t the timeliest bus ever, our carpool last year wasn’t either. I like that we are timely walkers to the bus (so far). I like Cheryl, who drives in the morning and always smiles at me as I wave goodbye to my middle guys.

Oh and I love that I can still walk the same loop around the campus as ever. It’s not unlike how after moving from the old house to this one I was still able to follow the same running route. We live two blocks from the old house. I’m really not all that comfortable with change. I am a routine-loving gal.

Lucien seems to have slotted back in, an “old-timer” compared to being the new kid last year. I love that Lucien and his friends rate the cutest kindergartners. I love that the middle school crew enjoys being buddies with second and third graders. I love that the third grader also thinks the kindergartners are super cute. That stretch—kindergarten through eighth—seems pretty ideal for a school. Besides the cuteness factor that span creates natural way not to rush the middle school students from childhood into aspiring teendom. The school culture is one that can honor childhood.


Speaking of not rushing into anything, my friend Avi pointed out that these gender-stereotypic rattles assume that babies know girls are supposed to care about pretty and boys are supposed to be doers. This is the exact kind of marketing that makes my blood boil. Good spotting. Good critique.

Speaking of bumps and stress, I really appreciated this post about one mother’s way to decrease the stress level in her house with teens. A couple of people commented on my blog’s Facebook page that silliness also helps.

Speaking of ways to calm things down, my house feels pretty chaotic now that the demands—school, two parents’ nights, soccer practice, meetings—have increased outside the house. So, I loved this little dream about organization. I also felt great clearing the boot of my car of rigid plastics and broken clothing at the event to gather these items today. I brought my friends’ stuff, too. The thing about bumpiness in the road is the goal isn’t to smooth everything out; it’s to build your resilience so you can navigate even the most challenging stretches.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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