It's been a hectic last few weeks — getting everyone ready for the start of school. Supplies were bought. Backpacks were stuffed. Uniforms were ordered and altered. Financial aid forms signed. But this years ritual has seemed to go smoother than in the past, thanks to The Nurse's organizational prowess, not to mention her deep pockets and actual joy when it comes to buying school stuff. And she's back to school too. It's gonna be a rough year, but I know at the end of it we will truly have something to celebrate.
With all the back-to-school picnics and such, I found myself reconnecting with school parents and this year — finally came out to the few people I'd really been meaning to come out to but somehow hadn't yet. It was a huge relief, and again, I have The Nurse to thank for really pushing me here. Having her by my side has certainly made it all much easier — because I can simply introduce her as my partner and watch as the understanding spreads across their faces. But the few tough cases who still didn't "get it," well, they had to have it very clearly spelled out for them. But so far, it's been really good and all reactions have been totally positive and even loving.
With everyone now firmly entrenched in the new routines of the school year, I am trying to figure out what to do with myself. Every day is as day off and I jealously crave the routines that I am missing out on. Several potential jobs have slipped through my fingers this summer, which is something I'm sadly getting used to. And there are still more possibilities on the horizon, but there is an ever-encroaching fear just beyond that horizon. The terrible "what ifs" are just barely being held at bay by the last reserves of my optimism and the last weeks of unemployment benefits. But I can't talk about that, because if I panic (or even show the slightest concern), I will shatter the facade that holds the rest of the family together. I am strong for them, and for myself too. What other choice is there?