Rant With Randi: Make the time count

Like most of you, my kids just started back to school this week. For our family, it was a very different start to the school year. We moved both of our kids to new schools and the fear of the unknown caused me more sleepless nights than I can count. The constant battling back and forth in my brain about whether or not we made the right decision was enough to drive anyone to the looney bin.

What I tend to do is replay each conversation (with friends and family) over and over in my head. Then I orchestrate different versions of the conversation and start doubting my original decision.

But the great thing about life is that you can always change the channel. Having choices is truly a beautiful thing. I have to remind myself that no decision is forever.

During my analytical phase, here are a few snippets of conversations with friends regarding school choices: “Come on, Randi, no boy likes school, that’s just par for the course.” “School isn’t about having fun and being with your friends, it’s about learning. You can hang out with your friends after school and see them at sports.”

Or, “Randi, you should keep your kids in the bubble for as long as you can. Once they hit high school, you will lose control and that’s when you have to hope and pray that everything you’ve taught them will pay off.”

Should I be concerned about whether my kids are having fun at school? Do I want to keep them in the bubble? How do I prioritize what’s important?

I love the advice and input from my friends, I really do. But at the end of the day I’ve learned that you have to know your own child. Of course I agree that school is for learning, but I also believe that socialization is just as important as the academics. I’m old school and prefer face-to-face contact. When interviewing for jobs, you learn the importance of being able to sit down across from someone and hold an intelligent conversation.

Technology is rapidly taking that away from our children, as we all know. Being taken out of your comfort zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. Sometimes we get stuck with one way of thinking and aren’t open to new ideas because we accept what we know and we don’t like change. The devil you know ...

Going back to school is always very emotional for me. As each year passes, I’m continually shocked that my kids are as old as they are. It’s incredible how fast the school year goes by.

You start school and the first few weeks are a blur. You’re immediately hit with sports and volunteering obligations and don’t have time to realize that it’s already Thanksgiving and quickly approaching Christmas. How can I forget Halloween!

By the time you regroup and get going again, the kids are looking forward to spring break and counting the days until summer. I have friends who just dropped off their kids at colleges all over the country. I knew these kids growing up, and now they are pledging sororities and fraternities on a college campus. That’s surreal.

I was at a meeting at my daughter’s high school last night and the AD said, “Don’t wish it away, because it’s over before you know it. If there’s an away game, go and support your school, your child and your community.”

I became very emotional because it’s true — one minute you bring home your newborn, you blink, and then he/she is in high school and then off to college. It goes way too fast. I want to stop and smell the roses. I want to attend every game that I possibly can. I want to hold on to my driving responsibilities until the last possible second. (This one will be difficult, as my daughter has her permit date down to the minute).

Basically, I don’t want to miss any of it. And most important to me is that I want my kids to be happy, because it goes way too fast.

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