I recently read a parenting article about how awful the month of September can be, with paperwork, activities, back-to-school night, etc… I laughed; I think we were intended to laugh, but mostly because so much of it was true. Or at least there was so much to which I could relate.

Back to School can be stressful. For those of us with teenagers, just getting them out of bed after sleeping in all summer can be stressful. For me, back to school means a high schooler, which means a new school, which means two different schools in two different directions. Stress…but not as much as I thought it would be.

First of all, I do spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out everyone’s schedule, especially when my husband is out of town most weeks. I have many “ride options” for my younger son (more on this in my next post), since this is our 14th year at his school – but that doesn’t always mean he should be the one pawned off on friends. We are new to my older son’s high school, and it’s about 30 minutes away, so not everyone is from the same area, meaning: less ride options for him. But that doesn’t always mean I should drive him. So of course, I end up driving all over Maryland trying to “do it all.” Big surprise.

However, there is magic in this. For the first time: my boys are at different schools! I was worried about the driving; I was stressed about the schedule. But you know what it means? It means I get to spend time in the car with each of them, daily, by themselves. One on one. Them and I. Or them and me…whatever it is, it’s just the two of us! And it’s awesome.

I have a chatty son and a not-so-chatty-son. My not-so-chatty son becomes VERY chatty when he’s in the car without his chatty brother. I love it! I know more about his back to school experience than I have in the 12 years he’s gone to school. It’s a beautiful thing.

So the stress of going back to school in our house: navigating two different schools, has become a daily gift of conversation. My hope for all other parents out there who are experiencing their own September back to school stress, is that they find their magic in it. It’s there.