Back to School: An Epic Tale of Boxes, Bronchitis, Downward Dog and Lockdowns

Today marks the end of the second week of school.  It has been, inarguably, the longest two weeks I’ve had in recent recollection. Even more so considering how quickly summer vacation flew by.

I wasn’t ready for summer to end, but decided to be positive and jumped right out of bed when my alarm went off in the middle of the night bright and early (at 5:30 a.m.) on the first day of school. Other than having to sign approximately 3,236 papers for school and visit Target a whopping 6 times for school supplies, the first few days were pretty great and I was able to get everyone, including myself, in bed by 9 p.m.

First day of school

 Then the weekend arrived.

My mother-in-law sold her house in less than a week on the market, and the time to pack and move had arrived.  Hubby, the kids, and I went over to help.  My job was to go through all of the photos she and her parents had collected over the last 65 years, combine them and store them in plastic tubs.  Actually my job was to pack said photos, but since the majority of them were strewn through dusty, silverfish infested boxes, falling out of photo albums whose sticky pages had long since lost their stickiness, or tucked away in the drug store envelopes they originally came in, I figured this would be a much better option.

Here is one of the old pictures I found at MIL’s.
Here are Hubs and I when we were around 19 circa 1995.

Since MIL hasn’t found a permanent place, Hubs and I offered to store her furniture and boxes  in our garage, which meant a major, two-day long garage rearrangement.

A good part of my garage was filled by donations for the charity yard sale I will soon be working, so those items had to be hauled to a different storage location. Hubby and I moved things right and left until we finally had the garage looking like I’d wanted it to look since we moved in 15 months ago.  It was a nice 30 seconds until the box truck with MIL’s items arrived.  Thankfully, we played a lot of Tetris when we were kids and we able to fit it all in nicely.

The next day, my daughter called me from school complaining of a cough and sore throat. The pediatrician diagnosed her with sinusitis and bronchitis.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  I had to go back and forth to the pharmacy three times until they figured out that the cough medicine wasn’t covered by our insurance and the doctor recommended an OTC instead.

Phew…I’m tired just thinking about it…

Last night my buddy Marcy invited me to yoga to try and relieve some of the stress of the last two weeks. This was a great idea since I had been wanting to try yoga for years to relieve my chronic back pain.  It really was a great idea, except that 15 minutes into it I realized this was more Cirque du Soleil in an oven than the chanting, relaxing and stretching I had pictured in my head.  About 40 minutes in I refused to do anymore downward dogs.

OK, I didn’t actually refuse. It was more like my brain was spinning in my head, and my ears were ringing, and my boob sweat was rolling up into my eyes, and I didn’t know what the heck any of the poses were, and I was getting nauseous from looking around to see if I was doing any of it correctly, and I was pretty sure they would have to call 9-1-1 if bent over again.  Thankfully, the last 10 minutes rocked.

I have not given up on yoga…I just think I will start with the senior citizens class and work my way up to the class set in the Sahara Desert.

So, this morning I woke up, still a little light-headed, but my body felt pretty amazing. Both kids were able to go back to school, and I planned on painting a table my MIL had given me to use in my studio while I listened to my new audiobook.  I ran out of the Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint I had been using, and as I went to wash my hands and run to the stockist, the house phone started ringing off the hook.  No one ever calls me on my land line, so when I looked at the caller ID I saw it was my son’s high school.

All I remember the recorded message say was “suspicious student”, “in custody” “lockdown”, “law enforcement”, and “safety sweep of the school.” I quickly texted my son, got online and saw the newspaper article that stated that my daughter’s middle school (right next door from my son’s) and a nearby elementary school were also on lockdown due to a student who was wearing a trench coat and claimed to have guns.  I texted my kids, and my son replied that he was in lockdown in his 4th period class but was OK.  My daughter didn’t reply right away, but by then the reports stated that her school’s lockdown had been lifted and that the students were in no danger.

I decided to drive to my son’s school myself, and when I arrived, the street was filled with concerned parents, cars parked on the side of the road and police cars blocking the school’s entrance.

My son’s principal has a twitter account, and he updated it often. I was able to keep in touch with my son via text while I waited for news.  Three hours after the initial lockdown, after crouching against a wall the entire time, skipping lunch hour, and with only one supervised bathroom break, the lockdown was lifted.  Parents like me flooded the front office to take our tired and hungry kids home. Actually, we went to McDonald’s. A situation like this deserves salty fries and a Coke.

Safe and sound.

Later on, we learned that there was no evidence of any weapons at the school, but it has raised a huge concern. How safe are our kids?  How can schools prevent weapons from entering the building?  What if another kid wants this kind of attention? Should the teachers have water and food supplies in their classrooms?

It’s all a little much for me to think about this evening.  Tonight I will just think of how thankful I am that my kids are safe and sound.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you!  My readers always brighten my day!

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