I am writing this much later than normal because I have been so BUSY with school stuff. As I tell myself this every day: “It is ALL good wonderful stuff to enjoy,” and it is also a lot and all at once.

Let me fill you in on what’s been going on with the Greene family. I would love to hear what’s been going on with you so please comment! You can comment on my posts, or you can always email me at whinypaluzamom@gmail.com

Since I spoke to you last there have been a lot of events at school. I am so proud of the successful Color Run that we had at the Middle School. I am more proud than I am of the successful Fun Run at the Elementary school because the Middle school really needed the money. If you read this and you donated or volunteered, thank you so much! Lillie had a half day, so she came and helped me run the Color Run. I am so proud of how helpful she is! My girls and I had a blast and came home completely covered in color. I hope that all the parents had the same experience that I did because thankfully all the color washed out. Knock on wood I haven’t received any complaints. Thank you parents for being good sports because I know the kids were a mess!

The weekend was a blur of kid’s activities and Ella’s beautiful voice recital. As you know if you are a parent, all the recitals, performances and events are in June! June is the craziest month of the year! Hold on for the ride!

I would like to pause and give my husband a special shout out. He blew up all the inflatables and helped me load my car Sunday night for Kids Day. He is a rock star and no matter what event I run or what position I take on, he is right by my side helping me along the way. My car was filled to the brim with kid’s day supplies and I drove off to school to set up at 7 AM Monday morning. My wonderful friend Alanna was by my side at my car ready to unload and help me set up. I don’t think she realizes how much that meant to me. I was tired by 9 AM when all the kids were ready for everything to begin.

This is the year of really passing the torch and training other wonderful parents how to do every job I have done at the Elementary school. I have slowly been passing things on the last couple of years. I taught two moms how to set up and run the PTA games and off I went to find my daughter. It was my last Kid’s day and I told the wonderful women in charge that I really wanted to spend it with Lillie. I was her class guide and I enjoyed PTA Games, PE games and snow cones with Lillie and her class. I walked around to “make sure” everything was running smoothly, and I took long deep breaths and soaked it all in. Yes, the tears are flowing as I write this. My very last Kid’s day. My favorite day of the Elementary school year.

I helped them clean up and explained that I was instructed that I was not allowed to bring anything home. My fabulous husband has been unloading and storing Kids Day supplies for many years. Our time was done, and I left without one thing in my car. At the time it felt very freeing but as I write this it feels very strange. You may not know this but a lot of volunteers store a lot of school supplies at their homes!

I picked up catered food from the wonderful Andiamo Take Out Bistro and I was off to the Middle school to host and celebrate the volunteers. Usually after Kid’s day every year we order take out and I lay on the couch. The sun all day can really wear you out. I knew I needed to pace myself and keep going this year. I hosted the dinner, installed the new board and ran home to my bed! I needed rest because it was going to be another 12 hour day tomorrow.

Next up was my last field trip with my daughter Lillie. You don’t go on field trips with your kids in the middle school, so I knew this was my last one. I had gone on this field trip two times before with both Max and Ella, so this was my third time. I was so thankful that all the parents were invited to come because I really wanted to be able to go on a field trip with her this year. We spent the day at the Erie Canal, and I felt the sun headache coming on. It was hot! Note to all you parents – I definitely didn’t drink enough water and I forgot to take some motrin! Lillie and I were really good about sunscreen because I was so burned from the day before!

My last field trip was complete, and it was time to go to the Elementary School dinner to say goodbye. I thought it would be easy. I thought I would be like, “Peace out, it’s your turn.” Well, the Presidents got me, and the tears were flowing. In tradition, it is a time to appreciate everyone in attendance and it is also a time to say goodbye to the fourth grade parents. I started to think about the long list of volunteer jobs I have done over the years: staff appreciation, merry moose, picture day, lunch room, fourth grade parties, prime time reading nights, Fun Run committees, Kids Day Captain, President, Vice President, Treasurer, and volunteering at every single event. I knew that I couldn’t remember everything I have done, and I wondered if they would? I sat waiting for the President to begin my list of duties and she didn’t go there. She totally threw me off by talking about my heart. I wasn’t expecting that at all. She talked about how I welcomed everyone and was so warm. She told me she couldn’t list everything I had done and that their way to thank me was to do a good job after me. I couldn’t stop it and the tears were streaming! The tears are streaming as I write this now. I could never have written that speech to me. She touched me more than any list of duties would have done. I can’t thank her enough for making me feel so appreciated last night. The perfect thank you! The end was near.

So, here I sit typing away and reminiscing about all the events we have had already. I have a day at home to get as much as I possibly can done in between driving my children around. Tomorrow is the fourth grade party and my last official day at the elementary school helping with an event. This will be the hardest day. Then I have one more thing to plan and execute at the middle school and I take a nice PTA break. I need a break. It’s been a lot. My friend just texted me, “OMG/Strenuous!” Excellent summary of the month of June!

How am I coping and how am I handling all of this? I am sitting in my kitchen typing and ignoring a lot of messes around me. I have to be realistic. I cannot keep up with laundry, cooking and cleaning right now. I have a couple more events and then my house can be clean. Did I mention I still have to figure out teacher gifts and father’s day gifts? So yes, the events are going great. There is other stuff that isn’t getting done. We shall see if I actually cook for my family tonight.

I am letting a lot of things go and I am also taking it day by day and hour by hour. What is the next event? What do I need to do right now? I dropped my friends off last night talking to them about our event Thursday. My friend said and I quote, “I gotta go deal with what I have to do tonight first before I move on to Thursday. What needs to get done right now?” That is the big question. What do I have to do right now and what can wait until tomorrow?

There are two more things getting me through all this madness. First are my supports and second is my self talk. Every time I say, “This is all good stuff,” my whole state changes. We are blessed to be able to do all of these events and field trips. It doesn’t make it less chaotic, but it helps me to enjoy it more. There are SO many things that we haven’t been able to do the last couple of years so this is fantastic that everything is happening again. It’s all happening again!

I have also reached out to a lot of people to help me. My friend at Andiamo catered the dinner. My friend made beautiful mugs for all the volunteers. My friends offer to help and show up. I have texted my friend’s things I have forgotten for them to bring or buy for me whether it’s storage bags for the Color Run or tongs for the salad! My husband and my parents have been helping me drive my children around. We can’t do it alone!

I am about to take my son to his Biology exam and I’m holding on. I’m holding on to all the memories that will last me a lifetime from the Elementary school. I’m holding on to my sanity! I’m holding on. Day by day, hour by hour it is all getting done and running smoothly. I told my friend running the 8th grade celebration that the kids will love anything she does. It is not worth stress. Whatever the kids get they appreciate. None of these events happen without the volunteers. I love all the thank you’s and appreciation. What I love even more is the parents willing to step up and help and get their hands dirty with me. We literally got our hands so dirty at the Color Run! Everyone was laughing at me but the bigger the mess the bigger the fun.

My advice to all you parents out there:

If you have employers who understand – the work can wait! Enjoy the events and memories with your kids.

Remember to drink a lot of water! I am definitely dehydrated and sunburned!

Take it day by day, hour by hour, event by event!

Use your supports! Your village is there for you!

Focus on your self talk! Remember that it is a lot, and it is also all wonderful stuff happening! It’s all finally happening again!

Hold on to all the memories! I’m holding on!

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R

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