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    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

Mothering at Mid-Career: The week in bullet points
September 12, 2011 - 8:01pm

The semester has begun with a bang: an earthquake, a hurricane, and a presidential visit. Add to that the normal stresses of the beginnings of two different school years (at least my college daughter is navigating the opening of her school year on her own), a new school, and a new athletic team, and I know why I’m so tired this Monday.

So, let’s try bullet points instead of finely-wrought paragraphs (not that I always achieve those, anyway!) and see if I can sum up some of what’s going on right now.

  • As a non-athlete myself, I never knew how well joining a team can help integrate a kid into a new school. Nick started the school year Tuesday with a built-in friend group from all grade levels.
  • It’s also remarkable that a kid can go from a non-runner to completing a 3.1 mile course with a month’s training. I’m not sure that kind of progress is available to my age group.
  • I’m also pretty sure I’m not even going to try to find out if I’m right about that.
  • Electricity is a wonderful thing. Ours was out for four days after the hurricane, and I am still delighted that when I flip a switch, the light really does come on. (And, yes, it took all four days for me to stop automatically flipping switches as I entered darkened rooms.)
  • The presidential visit deserves its own blog post, but I can barely even process it yet.
  • The news reports that referred to his “rock star reception” on campus got it just about right.
  • I have never been in such a big crowd (8900 people!) that was so orderly and pleasant. Even waiting in line felt like a party.
  • I was particularly impressed by the way the university just handled the event — from Wednesday morning, when it was confirmed, until Friday afternoon, when it was over, faculty, staff, and students pitched in and made something remarkable happen.
  • I didn’t take my son out of school to hear the speech. I thought about it, but he had an early-morning practice — and it was only his fourth day of high school. I don’t think it even occurred to him to ask to go.
  • Nick had his first cross-country meet this past weekend — near the beach, two hours away. With school-provided transportation and a team-wide beach trip afterwards, we stayed home, but I’m a little sorry I haven’t seen him run yet.
  • He tells me it’s not really a spectator sport. Fair enough.
  • Although we’re already in the fourth week of classes, it feels almost like a new beginning (again — we had one new beginning after the power came back) since we missed class for the presidential speech. Usually there’s a rhythm to the semester by now.
  • But not this year.



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