Life is a Circus

I was prepared early for circus life.

Ever have one of those dreams where you show up for school and no one is in the schoolyard? Well, that dream was reality for Little T this week.  Only, it’s not his fault since he is not responsible to get himself to school on time. The blame goes 100% my way.

Before you go tsk tsk’in me, there is a reasonable explanation.  I thought I was correctly following the schedule (the 2nd one since he started school) that states on Tuesday and Wednesday he starts school one hour later (and folks, you have no idea how much this one extra hour of sleep means to me – it’s almost the same giddy feeling I get knowing the clocks go back an hour). It was Tuesday, so I was getting him ready for his 9am start.  We left the house on-time, but as we approached the school, I found it rather odd not hearing the sound of kids playing, or the deafening screams from the girls being chased by the boys (some things never change).  Sure enough, not a kid in sight.

But, it was drizzling a bit, so I thought that maybe they brought the kiddies inside early so they wouldn’t get wet.  Little T immediately went into panic mode, and begged me to take him to his class.  Together we ran up the stairs; I of course trip and land flat on my face along the way. We arrive to his room and find the door still open, so I am relieved thinking he is not late after all.  But he still wants me to talk to his teacher to make sure.

Turns out he was suppose to be there an hour earlier, as this week is “project week” where the kids are learning about how to perform in a circus. Instead of the usual class time starting and ending at a different time each day (I kid you not), this week the kids had a regular class schedule of 8am to 12:45pm.  I honestly could not recall seeing a letter explaining this, but since I receive letters almost daily from the school, I wasn’t surprised that this was lost in translation. Or rather, lost in Google Translation – my beloved interpreter of the school forms and any other correspondence I receive here in Germany.

I apologized as best I could in to the teacher, and went home wondering if there would be a message waiting for me from the principal giving me a detention.  I’m thinking my experience of Little T starting school has many similarities to the circus: I’ve had the job of a juggler, a tightrope walker, acrobat, and the guy that shovels up after the elephants.

Every day I have to check his schedule to see if he starts at 8 or 9am, ends at 3pm, 4pm, or 12:45pm, if he has Sport and needs his gym bag, make his Brötchen with peanut butter and meat with cucumbers on the side, fill his water bottle, check if the milk money is due (missed that one yesterday),check  the folder for letters from the school (his file is already bigger than his 2-yr Kindergarten one), check the little notebook where the teacher scribbles notes to me that I can barely understand for Google Translate, and just when I thought I was getting the hang of all of this they throw in this “project week” with a brand new schedule and soon Little T will be off for two weeks for fall vacation.

But, none of this really matters because each day I look forward to picking him up and hear all about his day while he holds my hand while we walk home.  After we get there, Little T likes to go through his school bag and proudly show me the notebooks he worked in that day.  I get to see how he is learning to print letters, numbers and words.  Watching him learn and sharing his enthusiasm for school is so much fun.

If I were at the circus, this would be the best seat in the house.

4 thoughts on “Life is a Circus

  1. Oh my. It is amazing how much parents have to balance just to keep up and you are doing such a good job, Heather. Those walks with his hand in yours are so precious no matter what is being shared. Enjoy.


  2. Great story Heather, and you were a very cute clown!!

    Savour your moments of hand holding and “look mommy at what I did”, they are priceless.

    And my motto is we are never late for life, as life is always happening:)


  3. Heather – I had a similar kind of experience when Matt was in JK. There was an alteration to his schedule, the afternoon kids were attending in the morning on this one particular Friday (Matt was morning kindergarten, so he actually had a day off!) As usual, I took him to the kindergarten area, left him in the line-up of unrecognizable kids, as I rushed off to work. I have to admit that phonecall that I received at work was horrifying…. How could I do such a thing!? Despite our best efforts, we still make mistakes. …and I believe, this can be a good learning tool for our children too.


  4. Let me tell you….I get in trouble with the school on a regular basis. I try my best, but with two girls and two different schedules sometimes I am going to mess it up. I just shrug my shoulders and go “Sorry Lauren, I forgot to pick up 2 extra Kleenex boxes to send with you to school. The fact that the teacher is acting like we owe them a million dollars is too bad!”
    No “lost in translation”, just a “loss in priortization of things to remember in my already crowded mind”. I figure if this is the worst that we do as parents, then we are doing quite well.
    Remember: three categories. Happy, healthy and safe. All others are a bonus!


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