À La Rentrée

School Bus

With a great sigh of relief, we send jeune homme back to school today. We’d moved him to a new school last spring that was a much better fit for his abilities and challenges, but he only had full advantage of the new environment for a few weeks before the regular academic year ended. While he did have summer camp and summer school, he’s a kid who needs and thrives on structure and predictable routine, which is why summers and weekends have become such a challenge. He functions best when his time is planned out pretty much every waking moment; meanwhile le monsieur and I work all week and could use a bit less structure and a little down time on our days off. Due to his sometimes unpredictable behavior, our options for activities outside the home have become more and more restricted. At this point a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs or trip to the market are about all we can safely manage with him. Trying to keep him occupied and entertained on weekends has been wearing us out, so we’ve taken the step of getting some regular help to come in for a few hours on the weekends to give us a break. Even just those few hours to “move freely about the cabin” (and venture out into the world a bit more than we’ve been able to for a long time) has been a welcome relief.

Jeune homme, in fact, is much more excited about returning to school than the kids in this brilliant commercial.

Saturday night I was able to meet up with the lovely Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style who was on a layover between flights on her way back to Australia. We had a wonderful chat about families, blogging, and style (bien sur). Imogen has developed her own color system, and is not only using it for her own clients, but training people to use the system as well. I had the opportunity to be part of a color and style workshop led by Imogen in 2009. It was such an eye-opener, and I really love how Imogen approaches style, taking into account first the applied visual science of it (in considerable depth and detail), and then factoring in personality and individuality. If you live anywhere near Melbourne, Australia I’d highly recommend working with her in person. But if distance is prohibitive, she has excellent Ebooks available to help you jump start or refine your style: Your Essential Style Guide, Travelling Light, Never Short On Style (the most helpful style book for petites I’ve found yet), The Finishing Touch (tips and tricks to accessorize effectively) and Svelte In Style. Loaded with pictures and illustrations, Imogen shows as well as tells what works and doesn’t. She’s not about 10-items-every-woman-must-have lists, or a single formula for everyone (I’m looking at you, all of you belt-to-create-a-waistline celebrity stylists!). Much of how I choose shapes and silhouettes today is due to what I learned from Imogen’s blog and workshop.

To see some wonderful examples of style personality and individuality, do go visit Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

Those of you who are teachers, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for doing this demanding work that can make such a difference in people’s lives. We are so grateful to the teachers and other staff at our son’s school who have shown him such patience and compassion and seem to have unflagging enthusiasm for what they do.

How’s your week shaping up?

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  1. I am happy to hear that you and your husband can enjoy a little time together… down time is so hard to come by when life is not so busy and I am sure working full time and caring for your son leaves less to no time available…
    Enjoy those stolen moments… they are aways the best… xv

  2. I’m so happy to hear that your son has found a good spot. As for teachers (and I am one, married to one, and both kids going in that direction)–we are the lucky ones. How many jobs enable you to feel you can do something good every single day? (Or try to. You can always do better the next day.)

  3. Thank you, Madame, for your kind words for teachers. I am a high school English teacher who reads your blog every day before going off to work; it entertains and inspires me.

  4. You are truly amazing to care for the additional needs of jeune monsieur and lead such an active life! I just downloaded Imogen’s ebook as I have a long, wardrobe challenged trip in the fall and I get tired of carrying a heavy suitcase. Most teachers do work hard to ensure that every child has a successful school experience.

  5. Having raised 4 kids, (mine own, and 3 stepchildren) I found summer vacations so challenging as well, especially as they got into their lazy teens. I’ve gone back and forth as to the wisdom of so many months off from school, although I know it’s great for teachers, who deserve any perks they can get, as it’s the most seriously underpaid job on the planet I think. I’m so glad you’ve found a good school for your son, and some help on the weekends as well.

  6. Mon cherie,

    Sheer joy your posts… love every one of them each for a diffrent reason, and all because they guide and enlighten me… not to mention inspire!

    Goin gto SF on the sixth… courtesy my son and DIL… to watch the America’s Cup finals… I am a devout AC follower… so this is like going to Mecca!!!!! LOL!!

    Keeping track of the weather… hope it is nice and cool.. it will be a welcome change.

    Best wishes on your new school year! BTW your son is a keen soul of mine.. 😉


  7. What an inspirational post to wake up to. As a retired educator, it’s always nice to read about parents who appreciate the time, love and work teachers give towards their students. I hope you’ll keep us posted on how the school year goes for your son.
    I also want to thank you for your recommendation on Imogen Lamport’s Books. I just downloaded a copy of Traveling Light and can’t put it down, so many great suggestions.

  8. Best back to school commercial EVER!

    So glad you found a good school for your son. I hope all goes well for him as he transitions back. It is no picnic to support the average child through school. And so much more stressful to dig up support and resources for our “differently abled” children. Kudos to you and your husband for understanding that “parent” is not synonymous with “martyr.”

    Yay teachers!!!!

    Will have to check out Imogene’s books. They sound fantastic!

  9. I’m so glad you and your husband have decided to take a proactive approach to balancing your lives. It must make for a happier and healthier household all the way around.

    I also met a fellow blogger over the weekend (I guess it’s my new thing :)) and went to a birthday party for a very close friend. It was women only so I got in plenty of girlfriend time!

  10. Getting ready to head back to the classroom as well, my own enthusiasm level somewhere between the dad’s and the kids’, in the commerical video. Glad to hear that balance will soon be restored chez vous!

  11. Good for you for taking care of yourself and giving you the gift of time. I hope that your son’s school year is a good one and I agree wholeheartedly with your tribute to teachers.

  12. That commercial is so funny, and I imagine you can relate to it very well. I’m sure you’ll enjoy that little bit more freedom now, and I hope jeune homme loves his school.

    Now I must go check out your links to Imogen.

  13. Last weekend my monsieur dropped me and my electric wheelchair off at an event and left me to my own devices for the first time in many years. I was happy that he didn’t have to chauffeur me around and actually got to do whatever he wanted for a few hours. I think we all deserve a little “free-moving” time.
    When I started blogging I relied on rules that I have since thrown out the window. Seeing photos of ladies like you, along with my own, have really changed how I approach fashion. I’m still trying to master your scarf tutorials!


  14. Taking good care of yourself ( in your case – time on your own and time with your husband ),
    is the best thing to do right now.
    Your son will be the one , who benefits of it most.
    Teenagers can be really tricky to deal with; a lot of patience and humor is needed.
    What a great thing for finding a nice school for your son and some help over the weekend.
    Have a good week!

  15. Happy to hear you have been able to find more balance with the addition of weekend help. Having grown up with a sister with down syndrome, I know only too well the impact special needs can have on the whole family. Kudos to you for seeking self care… in doing so … everyone is better cared for.

    I can not wait to explore Imogen’s blog and tips… you are always such a good source for new ideas and information!

  16. That bus illustration is one of my all-time favorite illustrations. Very happy to hear about the extra help on the weekends. I can only imagine what a relief it must be to have your son happily back at school. I will pass the thank you along to the special needs teacher near and dear to us. Imogen is so smart. Lucky you, getting to meet her in person.