Anxiously Anticipating Back To School

There have just been 79 days of summer, and it flew by extremely fast! Summer camps, vacations, and lots of play time were extremely enjoyable, but a fresh start is near. It is time to leave the summer behind and march towards the busy, schedule driven, homework tackling of a new school year.

As a child, I would get anxious about the new school year. I would anticipate the bus ride, seeing all of my friends, and finding out my new teacher for the year. I still get the exact same feeling for my child on his first days of school. Getting to know new teachers, methods, and practices is part of the first day anxiety for me. Coupled with the expectations for child and the hope that he will have a successful school year, all of those things weigh heavy on me each year. This year it’s no different.

The other day I got home after work, and pretty much went into a panic. I felt behind in the first day of school preparations. We don’t have uniforms, shoes, when will he get his hair cut, and his book bag isn’t monogrammed (Southern moms understand that the book bag monogram is a back to school staple). Meanwhile, I’m saying all of these things aloud as my husband stands in the refrigerator, and he turns around gives me a befuddled look. I respond, “What?” He then gives me a chuckle and reassures me that we have time to figure things out and there’s no need to be worked up now. As I settled my thoughts, I agreed with him wholeheartedly.

I readjusted my thinking and realized I was completely over thinking. In that moment, there was a feeling of extreme anxiety about something I controlled. I also realized that I didn’t want to project that anxiety onto my son. I wanted him to go into the school year with a new and fresh perspective, with no big bets hanging over his head. Now that my reality personifies that “all is well,” I can attempt to gracefully plan for the school year.

Although I will miss summer, I look forward to the new school year. I am hopeful for my son making great strides in his growing knowledge, new experiences, and valuable friendships. Let’s go new school year, WE are ready!

Ashley Cox Coates is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. She is happily married to her beau of seven years, Kevin Coates. They have an amazing son, Ethan Buff (6). As a family they enjoy going to the movies, playing at the park, perusing the French Market in New Orleans, and spending time with family and friends. She received a B.A. in English and a Masters of Mass Communication from Southern University and A&M College, and a Juris Doctor from the Southern University Law Center. Ashley is a full-time working mom and is constantly exploring new ideas to accentuate her ultimate purpose in life. In her free time, she loves to plan children’s birthday parties, dance, and make “quick” trips to Target! Ashley believes that, ultimately, everything happens for a reason.


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