This school year we have a high schooler, a middle schooler, an elementary schooler, a preschooler, and an infant. We are parenting every division of school and development. While it may seem overwhelming (I mean five is a lot of mini-humans), there is a lot of joy in being able to see the breadth and depth of learning and growing all at once.
We have the privilege of knowing how quickly those years of elementary school with all the spelling tests, spirit days, and 100 day celebrations go. We know how long it seems to between getting a driver’s permit and driver’s license is. We know that what one friend said at lunch during middle school can indeed impact the grade on a math test and we can sing all the songs that help you remember how to write your numbers…”Straight line down and then you’re done, straight line down and then you’re done that is how you make a one.”
To some people I am sure that this is would be overwhelming. You have to shift and change as a parent based on which child you are engaging. (Talking to a middle schooler as if she is a preschooler may be merited, but isn’t usually well-received.) The aspect of this stage of parenting that I enjoy the most is hearing and seeing the way they engage with each other.
“You don’t know how hard second grade is. You don’t even have any homework in preschool!”
“You think middle school is hard just wait until you get to high school.”
As we begin this year, I hope to savor these conversations even as we move from one division to another. I am sure it won’t be easy to keep up with four different school calendars, especially if our infant decides she doesn’t like napping in carpool lines, but I wouldn’t change. There is so much we can learn from each of them. I can’t wait to see what we, as parents, learn!