Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Does this New Year bring fear? Or fabulous?

Every year has a sort of sameness about it, we travel the same paths, but every year there are subtle changes, shaped by the age of the kids, the activities they do, the school they're at and ever so slightly (unfortunately), by my priorities.

And for us, for this year anyway, one hell of a house reno on top of everything else.

At the beginning of the year we go and watch all the firsts and pay enormous amounts of money for loads of things.  First gym, first music lesson, first tennis lesson, first day of school, first after school care.  Everyone needs a bit of extra attention for every 'first' time activity, and then the invoices start rolling in.

Then there's the equipment and accessories.  We realise there's a hat missing, or the new drink bottle leaks.  They need new school shoes of course, but also new runners, rugby boots/headgear/mouthguard, netball uniform and in extreme cases, new orthotics.

And the money just flies out the door.  Whooshka.

And the logistics do my head in.

There's new classrooms, new teachers, new classmates.  Where best to pick up each day, where to drop off, what equipment do they need, when, for who.  And my favourite old chestnut: can I car pool?

So far this year, not as much as I'd hoped.

Then slowly, everything settles into what seems a comfortable groove, usually just in time for Easter to ruin the rhythm, albeit with a much appreciated long weekend.

Did you know, in New York, you don't get Good Friday off?  Or Easter Monday?  WTF?

Then there's the middle of the year, roughly defined by terms 2 and 3.  Here is when you have two (or more) different sports every Saturday, sometimes Sunday and all the associated training and volunteering.  It's gym comp season, meaning crack of dawn starts heading to distant locales.  There's band camp, band workshop and band performances and competitions.  There's dance performances and competitions.  There's sausage sizzling, fundraising, trivia nights, and for us, three kids birthdays with associated festivi.

Did you know festivi was the plural of festivus? No? Well I just made it up.

You have to always be three steps ahead, with the right uniform, shoes, make up, a warm jumper a drink bottle, the right children.  There's lots of having of other peoples children and just as much of them having yours.  Most nights you end up with the usual ones, but not always, due to the 'last minute stealth sleepover'.

Never relax, ever or else you'll forget something crucial, and hell will break loose.

Finally in term 4, we go and watch all the ends.  This starts early with the end of winter sport which sort of crosses into term 3.  End of rugby season party, team BBQs, presentation days.  Summer sports starts up, new team, playing day and training sessions.  Competition calms down, turning into showcases, recitals and performances.  Talent quest rears its ugly head (and you know how I feel about that), recognition assemblies and wrap ups of external activities.

Socially it all gets a bit crazy.  Crazy fun and also, just a bit crazy in general.  And it all goes on for weeks and weeks.

Then the end, when you really appreciate how great your class was, your teacher, your kids friends and all the other parents you shared stuff with, drinks, kids, food, car trips.

Because we are part of one amazing, beautiful community.

The wheel turns, Christmas, New Years, January, and on it goes.

So here I am stuck in that weird unsettled first part of the year, feeling a bit melancholy and a bit excited.  A bit tired and a bit energised,  a bit scared and a bit adventurous.  What will this year bring?

Anyone feeling the same?