Craving familiarity

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With fall just around the corner, and the kids going back to school this week, and me going back to school next week, and all the changes that this new season brings, I’m finding myself more and more wanting to do things that are familiar to me. I’m rereading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series instead of starting something new. I’m rewatching Gilmore Girls from the beginning instead of finding a fresh series on Netflix. I’m reverting back to old patterns, because so much of what I’m experiencing now, and what I will experience this semester, is new.

I have one more year left of grad school, this year actually, and if all goes well I will graduate in May. Between now and then, I have to do 150 hours of clinical time, complete a research project, and write my thesis. And after that, there is the Great Unknown. Will I be able to find a job in my field? Will I like teaching as much as I think I will? Will I be happy after I turn my life around yet again?

Then there’s CJ. His classroom assignments went out last week and he’s not in class with any of his close friends. That is, any of the friends whose moms I’ve gotten to know. I was in shock when I first looked at his list—how could they do this to him? He’s such a good kid, he listens and he follows the rules (most of the time), and it feels like because of that he’s just getting thrown in anywhere. But then I showed the list to CJ, and he’s excited about it. There’s a girl in his class he’s asked to have a play date with, and he’ll get to see her every day. He’s happy about his teacher, who’s new to his school, because he thinks she’ll be glad to be there and in turn make his day-to-day a fun experience. If only I could see things through his eyes.

Sam is your typical four-year-old, he doesn’t want to go back to school but once he’s there, I know he’ll love it. He’s already talking about seeing his friends and having them over to our house. He’ll be going to preschool five days a week, partially to accommodate my work/clinical schedule and partially to get him ready for kindergarten, which will be full-day next year. He’s ready for this change, definitely more than I am.

It’s raining today, as it is on all of my quiet, thoughtful days, and I think I’ll take the gloomy weather as a sign to embrace the familiar. I can do all these new things, all these hard things, if I have a backbone of comfort to rely on. For me, for this season, that means familiar stories, well-worn routines, and pumpkin spice everything. I’m looking forward to this season, with all of its changes, along with everything else that will stay blissfully, thankfully, the same.