And so the school year begins

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life26 Comments
And just like that summer is over.

Oh sure, we’ll have glorious summer-like days in the coming weeks but the slower pace of summer is over. And what I really mean by slower pace is that I now have to drive Cole to school every morning.

Dan has official begun his new job as a 5th grade teacher (so far, he’s loving it!)

Aidan will be starting classes on Thursday as she kicks off her junior year.

Cole, too, is a junior, albeit of the high school variety.

And me? I’ll be in my office most days trying to think of creative ways to earn a living.

I suppose now that Dan is a teacher, even once Cole heads off to college in a few years (if that’s the route he chooses to go, which all signs are pointing to ‘yes’), I’ll still have that excited feeling which also borders on relief when the school year begins.

I realize that life is constant motion. There are times when I wonder where did my 5th graders go? How is it that it’s so hard to recall the minutiae of daily life in those early years?

There are things about older kids that are seriously so amazing. Stuff you never even imagined when they were little. Things like being able to have real conversations about all manner of things where you begin to see who these people are and what matters to them. And there are things that are incredibly hard about having older kids, as well.

Time is such a nutty thing. One minute it feels like you have an eternity. The next, you know that it is nothing if not fleeing and precious.

September is marker for me, one that will likely grow a bit more tender with every coming year.

Such is life in these middle ages.




Cathy ZielskeAnd so the school year begins

26 Comments on “And so the school year begins”

  1. #2

    Perfectly said. I love the adults our kids grew to be- seriously would pick them as friends! I guess that is what it all was for. I am loving your SYY method. For the first time ever I am doing the current month. I even have my married kids sending a few photos each time they travel. And they travel! Enjoy the quiet!


    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. I can relate to feeling like my kids are people I would want to hang with. And I do! 🙂

  2. #3

    so very true…you are in the same stage of life as I am…I have one in high school and one that has been to college and now has his own business. Time flies but this stage of life is pretty amazing.

  3. #4

    I agree with “where did my 5th graders go” but at the same time, now with adult children and 3 granddaughters, we have the BEST time when we are all together. So much fun hanging with my 3 adult kids/significant others/grandchildren. I cherish each and every moment I get to have all of them together as they are spread out over the country. We rent a house each year on the beach and I LIVE for that week where we all get to be together and relax and play games and have real conversations and yes, maybe even some cocktails! I miss the years when they were all home and cried as each one left for college, but the times we get to spend together now are so very important to me and moments to definitely to be cherished.

    Congrats, again, to Dan. Congrats to Aidan for her Junior year. And to Cole for his Junior year, too. So nice to see them grow into those beautiful young adults.

  4. #5

    Yes..well said. And in the later chapters of life…the Septembers are even MORE meaningful! Happy Fall. Looking forward to your 30 days of Gratitude. Thank you for all your online presence!

  5. #6
    Lynne Moore

    I always like to say the best age for raising my kids is the next one. Every year they got just a bit older and more interesting to talk to about stuff.

  6. #7

    Your words and thoughts mirror that of so many mothers this month. By recognizing this time and appreciating it, it’s a little easier to move forward I think. And then every now and then your son and his family come home and you hear him talk and parent and love life and it’s all you can do to keep from breaking out in sobs with happiness and relief that he is happy and a good guy and great father and husband, friend and son. At the end of the day that’s all we really want for our kids, isn’t it? To be productive members of society, pursuing things that make them happy and surrounded by loved ones. And if they are a little quirky and funny and wonderful – that’s just icing on the cake. It’s good to have that stuff to focus on when the days are hard. As always your insightfulness and soul searching enriches us all.

  7. #8

    Today was the first day of seventh grade for my daughter and before I rolled out of bed, I flashed back for a moment to some of the other first days, when she was so little. *sniff* Now she’s two inches taller than me and spouting catch phrases like “like a boss,” and playing field hockey. And it’s all good.

  8. #9
    Amy B

    In one of Robert Fulghum’s books (“Uh-oh” I think) he writes about liking the Jewish New Year even though he is not Jewish because it occurs in September and September, for so many of us, is a great time to do all the reflecting and celebrating that we do January 1st. As a teacher, my life has never not been on the school calendar and I agree with his thoughts!

    1. #9.1
      Cathy Zielske

      🙂 Yes, as long as Dan is teaching (and this is just year one of what he hopes will be a fulfilling career leading into retirement) I’m hoping for many more Septembers of back to school!

  9. #10

    Hey Cathy,
    Would Dan be willing to share a little about his new career? I’ve been thinking about teaching for a while now and now that my youngest is in kinder, it’s coming up even more. I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 7 years, but was an engineer before that. I’ve always loved helping people learn. So middle or high school, math or science is most likely, but I love volunteering at the elementary school too. I’d love to hear what drove Dan to make this change and what it’s like to start over. Being a beginner at 41 is a little intimidating. Thanks!

    1. #10.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I will ask him if he’d consider doing a blog post! I bet he’ll say yes! Maybe in a few weeks after his new pace settles down!

  10. #11
    Cathy S

    Cathy – You don’t strike me as a Mary Chapin Carpenter fan, but as soon as I read your post I thought of her latest album “The Things That We Are Made of”. Every song speaks of life as a journey from the vantage point of middle age when so much has already happened, and we can put things in perspective much more clearly than when we were younger. My favorite song is the title, but your last line made me think of the second song: The Middle Ages:

  11. #12

    I really appreciate your posts and comments about older teens etc. I have a freshman in college and a high school student. I love reading posts about older children / college etc. So many scrapbookers blogs have such young children and I welcome the change of conversation.

    1. #12.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I wish I could say more… you know? But it’s such a tricky thing. I don’t want to tell stories that aren’t my experience. 🙂 Respecting their privacy is important in this era, even when your mom is a scrapbooker who makes her living telling stories. 🙂 I need to find more ways to blog about my experience in this era.

  12. #13

    It’s a marker for me too. I am waxing nosteolgic along with you as my oldest is a junior this year as well. Kind of freaking out. Ok that is all. Oh wait, are up upgrading to the new iPhone? Happy day!

  13. #14

    I really appreciate your perspective on this. I’m in those trenches of little kids and sleep deprivation.
    I often get older ladies admonishing me in the grocery store, to “enjoy those days, they go by so fast”. One part of me wants to throttle them in frustration, the other takes the advice and appreciates it.
    It’s so interesting to me to have been reading your blog for so many years and to see perspective at the other end. It’s so beneficial to read it. Thank you.

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Carie, well I would never admonish anyone… those old ladies, I tell ya! I mean, the fact is: life is hard at all stages. Hopefully, we learn and grow as we go. I wish I could rewind and do so much of my life over from when my kids were little. So much. I am making up for a lot of it now, simply by trying to become a much better adult on the planet. Therapy has helped a lot. 🙂

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