The Brody Bunch – Back to School Night, Again

The quiet before the storm…
… back to school night is off the books for this year.

Here we go again

It’s back to school night.  Specifically, it’s middle school night back to school night.  And, I have a student in EACH middle school grade. The teachers give up an evening to meet the parents. We hear about the exciting new programs being offered.  There’s a fundraising pitch in response to the budget cuts. We fill out our yearly PTA dues form. The older grades are seeking grade class parents, the younger grades have a strong pull of parent volunteers. Yawn. But what makes this event a production for me, is the aerobic activity up and down four flights of steps and around every corner of the school since I am covering three grades on the SAME night: 6th, 7th and 8th.  And I don’t really hear anything, because all of the presentations occur at the same time and I am looping the building.  But, I am not a very good listener anyway, I talk to my neighbor in each presentation. Three kids in middle school and one in the wings.  Puberty x 4, sigh.  On the home front, the kids have ignored our nutritiously prepared dinner that just needs to be reheated and have opted to heat up all of our “emergency” frozen delicacies saved for really poor planning scheduling.

Seeking New Friends/Expanding my Network is My Back to School Goal

Thankfully, we are engaged parents, and because the kids are so close in age, there is a natural fascination about this phenomena (sex ed was not my strongest subject) so the teachers and administrators lean towards joining our village as do parents who have heard about the quantity of Brody Bunch siblings.  One parent once told me that my kids are like a “gang” in the school yard.  I wasn’t sure whether to be proud or horrified.  Back to school night is a great time for me to socialize and make notes as to who has a kid in a similar extra curricular activity as a Brody Bunch member and has room for one more in the carpool without strong hopes of me reciprocating – we just don’t have any open seats in our car.   I am good at photography so I send my candid pics of their kid as gratitude for the schelpping that everyone else does for my kids.  It’s all about relationships and friendships, hence an outcome of back to school night.

I missed my LAST ever Elementary School Back to School Night.  I Will Send in Pencils, I Need Tissues

My youngest, bless his teachers, get a blanket email from me each year: “Dear Teachers, we are so excited for this school year.  Please note that because Mark and I will be absent during back to school night, this does not indicate a lack of interest, but we can’t swing it. Do outreach to us when your classroom is in need of pencils.  Warmly, Robyn”.  I have been through the dog and pony show before.  With the Brody Bunch in consecutive grades, this is my fourth consecutive year in 5th grade.  What makes this year a little more special than the last two years (the first time is always exciting) is that it is MY last year in elementary school.  Tissues please.  Let that sync in:  we are in each grade four consecutive years in a row!  And, I missed my last ever back to school night for elementary school.

High School is on the Horizon, I REALLY NEED Tissues

On the other end of the spectrum is our oldest son.  It is his last year in middle school, and we are off to high school.  OH SHIT!  No time for tears of reflection wondering where the years went, but tears of OMG, how will we navigate high school placement and high school ITSELF?  TISSUES PLEASE!!!!  These are real tears, fearful tears, hormonal tears and tears – the tears are all mine.

Cash Bar Recommended, Cheers!

I wonder if the fire marshal is requested to ignore the school on big community nights like this?  Everyone can settle down, I am sure this is not the case!  However, it is a crowded night as it should be, relationships between parents, teachers, administrators and such are important.  I can’t help but notice that with all of the jitters, the busy bodies, the stress, the excitement and more, why don’t we ever set up a cash bar?  A cash bar would go very far especially for a mom like me with three different grades to cover all at the same time and it might help with the budget crisis.  Raise a virtual glass, Cheers!  

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