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Soucheray: School’s beginning represents transitional period

By Kate Soucheray

I’m sure you can’t believe it any more than I can — school starts this week! Where did our summer go? Was there any way we could have accomplished all the fun things we set out for ourselves in the fleeting three months that are behind us?

And now we’re purchasing new backpacks and school supplies, a new wardrobe and shoes for each child. These required purchases, with multiple trips to local retailers, can become even more difficult for families who have already started all sorts of practices, scrimmages and games for a variety of sports. While the professionals tell us how important it is to have our kids involved in meaningful activities, we know how draining it can be for the parents of all these kids who must be delivered, waited for and driven home from these events. If you feel overwhelmed, you probably are.

So on that first day of school, what will you do? Will you head off to work as usual, just without the worry of the kids home by themselves or with a sitter? Will you meet some friends and take a walk around Colby Lake, or one of the other lakes in Woodbury with a walking path, and take a breath for the first time in several weeks? Will you meet someone for coffee or lunch, sit back and relax, knowing your kids are under the care of professionals who are ready to dutifully take the baton from you?

The beginning of another school year signals a change for all of us. The stores may be less crowded, now that young people and teens are engaged in a new year of academics. The streets and neighborhoods may be less busy, now that the kids are at their desks and in classrooms in one of our excellent schools, scattered throughout the city. The movie theater and ball fields may be nearly vacant, with lots of available seats and space for those who wish to partake of the experiences offered at these venues.

As the new school year begins, reach out to a family managing this transition and offer to help in some way. It will likely lift their spirits as they move through this adjustment. Drop off a coupon for a free pizza or have a meal delivered from a local restaurant.

And take a moment and write your children’s teachers a beginning of the year e-mail, thanking them for all the work they will undertake in the upcoming year. I promise it will move and inspire them to engage their students even more enthusiastically, for they will know of your support and encouragement. Have a great year.

Soucheray is a Woodbury resident and a licensed family therapist

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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