for anyone in higher education, this is the crazy time that is sometimes referred to as “Fall Rush”. the craziness that surround the start of another academic year tends to overtake every aspect of our lives – no matter how well-ordered or good-intentioned we claim to be. it is no different for our family. there’s a magic rabbit hole of time warp speed that we seem to jump straight into around August – the slower, warmer summer mornings somehow slip away from our family; rolling out of bed into the slow-creeping sunrise light gets harder for all 3 of us.
panda’s rush weeks begin before classes start – she has far too many obscenely-early mornings with student-athletes and far too often is at work through the evening hours making sure that everyone is aware of how they need to be compliant in order to play the sports they wish to play.
shortstack’s take-it-easy summer days of fun and lounging are switched to the get-it-done rush of school. this year he’s jumped into first grade with excitement and a ton of energy; the learning has stepped up and homework has become the theme of most evenings (the mamas are a little concerned – we need to be sure we keep at least one step ahead of the learning curve our our 1st grader, but he math is already scaring us! along with the start of school come fall soccer season for little boys, which means practice during the week and saturday games. to make it all the more fun, there are constant growth spurts and eating adventures during which it seems that we have a food monster in the house instead of a 6-soon-to-be-7-year-old in the house. then, of course, shortstack is an early-sleeper; these mamas got lucky – our boy is done for the day by 7:30. if he’s up beyond then, its a struggle for everyone involved. so, on the nights that we have homework/soccer practice/room cleaning that lasts beyone 7:45 … oh, the patience of all players is tried.
for me, fall rush means simple insanity – professionally, there are always minor, procrastination-caused crises to avert for students, programs, myself … making sure that my wife and i are not double-booking ourselves and that there’s family/house coverage when our respective schedules get wonky with late and early hours at our offices … fitting in time to make PTA meetings, board meetings, soccer practices and games, cook meals and find the bottom of the mess that is our spare room. all of it can pile up to feel as if there is a mac truck behind us – pushing us – rushing us right into the next season in our life.
its hard, but sometimes i feel like we just need to step back and say to each other – it’s fine if we’re a little late. it’s fine if bedtime gets delayed. it’s fine if dinner consists of breakfast cereal. it’s fine if life isn’t all that tidy. it’s fine that we are in the midst of fall rush — but let’s not rush this life – it goes far too quickly as it is.