The Annual 'Hey, Look! It is Time to Rush Off to School Again' Post


First things first, I need to address the above photo, because I am sure there are few belting out, 'Hey, aren't the kids supposed to be smiling at the camera for their back to school photo?' 

I respond, 'Hey, aren't kids not supposed to declare a battle to the death over who gets to take the blue-handled scissors to school?'

The answer is 'yes' to both, but sometimes reality screams that today is not about the 'suppose to' things.

I tried taking over ten photos this morning, and this is the one where they are both kind of smiling, so I declare this one the best. So, it gets top spot and you can see some others while this piece unfolds.

Today was also supposed to feel like Danika's third year of school, because she is now going into Grade 1 and did her two years of Kindergarten. But my brain kept screaming this is only her second year, because last year felt nothing like an actual start to a fresh school year.

It felt more like a melding into the previous year that was interrupted in March 2020 by this little thing called a pandemic. It meant my kids then did online schooling from April 2020 all the way to February 2021 where we finally declared for the survival of all that Danika and Everett needed to return to in-person schooling.

This was a glorious time where the kids got to see their friends and I got to have entire days not interrupted by the screams of one being attacked by a Disney Princess doll or the demands that I needed to find the scissors (preferably the blue-handled ones). But Covid chuckled at this short paradise and by this April declared it time to go back to the laptops for everyone. Except me, I use a desktop. But the delightful distraction resumed.

The last school year was a complete blur. Sort of feels like it didn't really happen, even if I praise the teachers for the amazing work that they did. It was work that would be amazing any year, but deserves even more praise since they did it under a world crippling pandemic and in the least ideal circumstance for younger kids. Danika was praised for how well she did with online learning, but even she wandered every five minutes, so I can assure you Kindergarten over the internet isn't a prance with unicorns through Skittle fields.

I've already admitted several times that I found a lot of good with the past school year. It was great being able to witness my children overcome challenges or use their creativity to bring their unique self to a project. It was great having that extra time with them that I never thought I'd be gifted. The great things they did this year has taught me so much about positivity, perspective and perseverance.

But as wonderful as that year turned out, it had enough hardships and challenges that if I wasn't overweight and unathletic, I would have done backflips when I dropped them off today. We are all very ready for in-person schooling to be a regular thing again. My kids need to see their friends and both are much better with hands-on style learning that is easier to do in-person. And I just really need actual uninterrupted hours to write and run my business.

Despite what the picture may show, the kids are pumped to return to school. I would say their emotions were high and there was some nervousness, since being out in public has still not been a recurring thing for them. You throw on top that we probably didn't quite nail the proper bedtime leading up to today and the nice way to say it is they displayed a lot of passions this morning.

The not so nice way is they drove me nuts as they were punching and yelling at each other. Tears were released and screams were bellowed. The blue-handled scissors became the most important thing in the world. I was just oh-so-thrilled that I got to experience all of this, and started formulating a plan to convince them 6 pm is an excellent bed time.

But we ended up biking to school and by that time the outdoors and doing something the loved settled everyone down. I would say the trip was pleasant.

When we arrived, I had one kid declaring that I needed to take her to her class because she was nervous and the other screaming that he didn't know where to go despite me constantly pointing to where I guessed he needed to go. Current policy is that parents aren't allowed on the property, so I gave both the consolation prize of a kiss and a hug and 'I love you.'

I can't believe Danika is now going into Grade 1. Or that Everett is now in Grade 5, and don't mind me, but I don't want to dwell on that too much. I do take some solace that Everett will still kiss me good-bye and that Danika lets me know that she will miss me. My kids are growing up but I'm still their dad.

My hope is that I dropped them off at the place where they will learn for the entire year. My hope is that the laptops don't need to be dragged out in two months. It would be great if I don't need to treat September as a mad scramble to get work done because the following months will be a kids at home whirlwind.

The last two years have told me that what I hope doesn't determine anything. Things are going to happen and I need to deal with it. I need to decide if I will fight to find the positive and enjoy those magic moments. Complaining or stressing about things that I can't control isn't going to fix anything. This year will unfold the way it needs to unfold, and my family will deal with it and we will come out better and stronger. 

I'm deciding it will be a great and memorable school year no matter where it ends up taking us.