Number 4’s school moved to full remote when the kids came home for Thanksgiving, and they stayed full remote until about ten days ago when she returned for in-person school.
She had mixed emotions about going back.
On the one hand she was super excited to get back to the swim team and her coach and to see her friends.
On the other hand, remote school works well for her, and she had a nice routine going here at home, and we moved into a new place about a month ago and she really likes the house, so she wasn’t in any hurry to leave it.
She also knew she’d have to quarantine in her dorm for about a week, and that’s not such a great mix for Number 4’s sometimes larger than life personality.
But the drive to school is a nice opportunity for us to have some serious one-on-one time, and it’s a long enough trip that we stay leave the night before and stay in a hotel.
It’s something I’d like to do with all the kids a couple times a year because it’s really hard to get that caliber of alone time when you have five kids at home.
Back in September when I dropped her off for the first time, it was ROUGH.
The enormity of what was going to happen hit a very excited Number 4 like a ton of bricks.
We weren’t going to be able to see her until Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t even walk into her dorm room with her.
I had to drop my thirteen-year-old off outside her dorm, give her a quick hug, and then drive away.
I was kind of brutal.
For both of us.
The first week was really hard for her, but I knew once she made it through that she’d be fine.
And she was more than fine.
When I picked her up from school the weekend before Thanksgiving, she cried just as hard as the day I dropped her off, but this time it was because she was going to miss her friends.
So I felt a lot better about driving her back to school last weekend because I knew although the first week would be tough, it wouldn’t be as tough as it was in September.
It was still hard to let her go.
It’s crazy how one less person in the house feels more like 2 or 3 or 4 less people in the house.
There’s a big hole when she’s gone.
And while I’m in no rush for her to grow up, in those first three months away from home she really, REALLY proved how independent and resourceful and tough and resilient and capable she is.
Not just to me, but more importantly, to herself.
That determined little six-year-old we all knew when the blog started (and who was pretty pissed about going off to school back in 2012) has come a loooong way.
That spunk and determination has taken her pretty far.
And I know she’s just getting started.
I look forward to seeing where the next eight years take her!
But for now, I’ll just be counting down the days until June 4th when we all get to see her again.