Sincerely, Overwhelmed by Paperwork
I am a fully functioning adult.
I graduated top of my high school class.
I have a bachelor’s degree.
I have extra certifications expressing my ability to work with some of the most vulnerable and needy children in my home state.
I have successfully completed two international adoptions, compiling files of paperwork four to six inches thick.
But oh. my. gosh. This might do me in. This might actually finish me:
Paper communication from my children’s school.
The amount of paperwork required to keep two children educated and learning in school is incredible – and I’m not even talking about homework that is their responsibility. Nooooo. This is paperwork for parents. These papers are for me.
Every day I peel open the zippers of Edward and Louis’ backpacks with one eye closed and the other eye squinting. It’s as if I am bracing myself for something to jump out and attack me.
And attack me, it does.
Stacks of paperwork appear in those book bags daily.
I bought the sturdiest folder for Edward at the beginning of the year. I prayed over it an anointed its cardboard self as I lovingly slid it into the protection of his backpack on his first day.
Dear Sweet Jesus, do not send me back to the godforsaken school supply aisle until next August. Place your hedge of protection around this means of communication between the teacher and myself. Amen.
Not even a month into school that dang thing has ripped due to holding enough tree product to replant the entire Amazon Rainforest.
There’s field trips, class projects, completed worksheets, art projects, permission slips, lesson plan calendars, suggested daily family activities (don’t even get me started – do I LOOK bored?!), reading logs, pleas for box tops, newsletters, and sight word learning helps.
I know part of my problem is the newness of this issue. Last year, Louis’ preschool sent home a big packet at the beginning of the year with everything you needed. I promptly misplaced it in September, thus eliminating the paperwork issue. (Aside: This is the preschool where I am now a teacher. I regularly say, “Oh, yes. I vaguely remember that there was a Grandparents Day” or “Wow, we were supposed to send canned goods EVERY month?! Who knew?” They’re so blessed to have me.)
But this year, at this school, there’s communication every. single. day.
Say what you may, but I. cannot. even.
Please tell me I am not alone. Does anyone else have a desk that used to contain bills but is now fully dedicated to the education of your PUBLIC SCHOOL children? I mean, if I wanted worksheets and learning standards in my space, I might have chosen to homeschool (yeah, still probably not).
It’s not only my desk. Recently I re-purposed a bulletin board in our kitchen. It used to hold darling baby pictures of my kiddos, but NOT ANY MORE. The entire thing is dedicated to upcoming field trips, reading logs, and those sight words we’re supposed to be practicing. I had to do it. I mean, if that permission slip isn’t ominously lingering above one of my favorite places to hang (the breakfast table, obviously… I mean, bacon…) that baby ain’t getting signed or sent back.
Again, I can’t be the only one.
Tell me, does anyone else feel overcome by all. this. paperwork?
Ginger, from under a huge pile of paperwork