Back-to-School: Choose Your Own Adventure Edition

If you have a child, you know all too well about the Back to School Season.

The beginning of the best story line ever. Or the worst…

The beginning of a binge-watch worthy show that you just cannot turn away from….or a show that is so bad that you just cannot turn it off.

You have a beginning, middle, and an end.

With a wide cast of characters, set in a familiar location. Problems arise and conflicts exist. Sometimes there’s a solution. There is always an ending.

There are plot twists and mysteries. There is comedy and character changes. There are assumptions that can be made and a resolution that may leave you wanting more…

…Or not…Unfortunately, or fortunately, a poor sweeps week rating will not cancel the Back-to-School Season. Instead, it will spawn spinoffs that include “School”, “End of the year-itis”, Senioritis”, “More School?”

This season will bring lots of ups and downs. It could be classified as the easiest, or the scariest, of all roller coasters. With a wide variety of conflicts and plot twists that range from “eh, that was easy peasy” to “STOP! YES I KNOW WE ARE UPSIDE DOWN BUT I WANT OFF NOW.”

Some kids enjoy going back to school.  Embrace the unknown. Learning new things is exciting.

Some kids enjoy the school breaks. Less unknown. Less brain power required.

Some kids thrive at school, discovering what they excel at naturally.

Some kids struggle with school, discovering what does not come naturally.

Some kids make friends easily and feel at ease with a crowded room.

Some kids panic until they are in the comforts of their own home, alone.

Some kids really shine and speed on thru.

Some kids really struggle and hit every single bump along the road.

Some parents are excited to drop off their kids the first day.  And every day after.

Some parents dread the first day of school. And every day after.

The school season resembles a “choose-your-own” adventure. Kids choose. Parents react.

Going to school – is a universal right. The experience? As unique as each child.

Even the experience between siblings – is as unique as a snowflake.

I have set up the setting, the story line, and the variety of conflicts that could arise, or not. I even gave you the overall theme of this story – we are all unique in how we interact with our world.

So this is where I introduce the main characters of this particular “choose-your-own” adventure book(s) – my children.

We have B, 4th grader, ADHD, Anxiety, Chronic Ear Infections  – average learner and a wannabe socialite who slides thru school with little conflict, and surprises. She does leave us flabbergasted more often than not, but she is the true meaning of strength and determination.

Will she kick a boy as part of another initiation to join the popular girls? Hopefully she is done showing off her martial arts skills…And fingers crossed no more blue slime magically appears on her desk that she just needs to take a bite of..

She wants to be a Veterinarian when she grows up. Thankfully her love of science started early. Her first experiment? To much chagrin of her teacher – an apple she didn’t want to eat for lunch, was impulsively hidden away in her desk for 3 months.

And we have E, 2nd grader, ADHD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Severe Expressive and Receptive Communication Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder (Building blocks of Autism but not officially labeled Autistic – different story for a different day) – below average learner and social avoider who desperately wants to make friends, and ultimately hits every single bump as she uncontrollably swerves across the finish line.

She provides us (me) with a whole lot of tears, but she is the true meaning of resilience and bravery.

Will she make it to October without a call home? Her new medications seem to be working a tad better. Hopefully her anxieties and impulsiveness can remain at bay longer than last year.

As of yesterday – she wants to be a teacher. Last week she wanted to be a Princess. Whatever she wants to do when she grows up – she has parents that will always support her. And she will excel at whatever she will put her mind to. She has a huge heart and knows what it’s like to live as her true self.

I always predict the ending of the school year based on history. And I am not usually wrong.

But how we get to the end of the school year – will be a mystery until each episode, each adventure, of this season’s edition of  “Choose-Your-Own” School Year – is revealed.

The first “CYO” adventure – the infamous First Day of School – went fairly well. But these siblings and their family remain focused on the day-to-day. If they do not – they may get lost in the conflicts and struggle to reach a resolution.

So stay tuned for the next “CYO” update. Airing TBD. Will B & E stay in smooth seas? Or will they reach choppy waters?

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