I have no great words of wisdom to assist any of these folks, except to suggest that these concerns haven’t brought the world to an end yet and it seems unlikely that they will do so this year. I understand the stress (I’ve been there from all three points of view) and I firmly believe that all WILL survive it. Somehow, the start of school works out every year for the very vast majority and for those it doesn’t, there are alternative approaches to solving those problems. After all, education is one of those things which can be acquired in many ways and through many processes. I’m really not worried about the survival of the human race based on the stress of dealing with the start of school.
Of course, it’s somewhat easier for me to say this sort of thing now that I’m retired and don’t have to deal with it. My own children are grown and through school and, while I do have grandchildren who are facing some of the anguish of starting a new school year, they are far enough away that I don’t have to deal with it directly. To refer back to a posting of a year ago (#36, August, 2015), it’s “…not my circus, not my monkeys.” That means that it’s fairly easy for me to at least pretend that this sort of distress isn’t of any real importance, or shouldn’t be, but the fact is, I know better. I do know it’s real and I do know that this can be a time of some real stress for a lot of people. All I can say to them is that, like a kidney stone, this too shall pass. It may cause some unhappiness at the time, but it IS going to get better.
I’m looking forward to having fewer kids in the pool during my water aerobics class, so it will be a bit quieter and easier to hear the instructor (swimming pools are not noted for having great acoustics, so it’s been rather hard to hear much of the summer what with swimming lessons and kids of many ages playing in the pool). The kids in school will reduce the weekday crowds at the various museums we go to and the zoo (which has opened a new “African grasslands” exhibit, we haven’t seen yet due to summer heat, sun and crowds), so I’ll benefit a bit from the start of the school year in a rather personal way.
Still, I can’t help but think of the years I spent these weeks trying to prepare myself physically, emotionally and artistically for the demands of the new year of classes and productions. I confess, I almost miss it. I do miss the people (faculty, staff and, especially, students). For all the trauma of their beginnings, they were good years…