Monday, August 20, 2012

1 Year Later - Back To School Again

It has been exactly 1 year since I started this blog and began the process of trying to document the immense amount of awesomeness and craziness that goes down in our house.  It has been a year filled with first steps, Justin Bieber, baseball, ballet fresh sneakers, travel, the Occupy Movement, Big Girl Thangs, and horrible first days of daycare.  I wanted to share and process my experiences as a Mama of 3 very tough-cookie girls, and due to my role as that Mama, haven't been able to write about everything I would have liked to, but I am proud of my 17 posts and am officially celebrating my 1 year Blogger-versary by looking back on this past year according to Mama.

My first post was about the first day of school last year and here we are on another back-to-school-eve.  So much has happened in the last 12 months and when I think of who the girls were this time last year, any even more so, how I viewed them and mothered them, I get flooded with emotions of nostalgia, confusion and pride.
This time last year Chuli was just a little pip-squeak getting ready for her first day of kindergarten and I was completely worried that learning in a school environment was not going to come as easy to her as it did for her big sister and that she was going to go berserker and beat up all the kids on the playground.  Tonight she is a veteran 1st grader, who already has a relationship with her new teacher, has friends she is excited about returning to, is totally comfortable speaking in Spanish and loves to learn!  After the success of her kindergarten year and the relief of her finally learning to tie her own shoes, I am going into her first grade year with nothing but excitement for her.  I know that she will leave this year knowing how to independently read and that is going change her world completely. This girl already devours books with only her pre-reading skills and once she masters those site words and decoding methods, we will never be able to pull her face out of her books!  It will be a great leap in her independence when she no longer has to wait for her parents or reluctant big sister to read to her. 
Last year Justice was preparing for 5th grade and dealing with the excitement and anxiety of her school moving to a new campus, having her little sister at school with her and having to choose between all of her after school activities.  She was a joyful learner who was always excited to go to school.  Now she is a full-fledged tweener with an awesome new haircut and a chip on her shoulder.  School is not the fun place it used to be for her anymore.  The hormone driven drama amongst her classmates due to changing dynamics, relationships and behaviors has left her discouraged and skeptical.  Much of her learning last year was interrupted because of behavior issues and she has lost her trust in her teachers and fellow classmates to be able to provide her with a stimulating and safe place for her to learn in.  Even though her school is a K-8, which means she will not have to switch schools and attend a traditional big, scary middle school (a fact which I thank my lucky stars for every day since none of us are mentally prepared for that!) there are big changes ahead of her this school year.  There will much higher levels of pressure and expectations coming at her from all angles.  The peer stuff is just going to get more and more intense, her teachers are going demand more from her an she is already going to have to make some tough and final decisions about her life and future. Not to mention the fact that she will now have to walk to school by herself every morning since she has a different schedule than her sister.  This year I am truly sending my baby girl out into the big-bad world.  The truth is the amount of excitement I have for all the things that lie ahead of Chuli and Rio this year is miniscule compared to the amount of pure terror I feel for Justice.  This year might just be the scariest year I have yet to experience as a mama.  Everything up until now has been cake compared to all the fear, doubt and what-ifs, that come with being a parent of a middle schooler.

This year is going to be a bitch.  Besides middle school we are going to be juggling grad school, 2 full-time working parents and the terrible twos.  Our family is taking on several major challenges simultaneously and it will be a true test of our endurance and love to make it out mentally and physically intact.  But amongst the insanity there is sure to be hilarity, major milestones, celebrations, fabulous outfits and lots of love.  I am committed to continuing to obsessively document and compulsively analyze it all and I hope that you all will stick around with me for the next year.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more...