Today was our first day of school.
Two days ago I couldn’t wait.
Yesterday I was feeling a little bit badly about counting down the seconds until the kids got on the bus.
The kids were feeling mixed emotions.
Number 3 is starting high school. He is excited to swim on the high school swim team, but he is not excited to be back at school.
Number 4 was looking forward to wearing her new school clothes. She just wasn’t excited that she had to wear them at school.
Number 5 is super excited to start middle school with her big sister.
Number 6 was dreading the first day of school.
Number 7? She didn’t really say much. But she was pretty psyched about her new backpack and sneakers.
I felt bad for the kids last night.
The end of summer is tough.
But when the kids were little, we watched Elmo Saves Christmas about five thousand times.
And in it, Elmo wishes for Christmas to be every day.
At first it’s really awesome.
But after a couple weeks of Christmas every day, Elmo realizes it’s not that awesome when it’s always Christmas.
So Christmas goes back to once a year, and then all is good.
It’s the same with summer.
It sucks when the fun stuff is over, but the fun stuff wouldn’t be so fun if it was all the time.
And so the cycle of life goes.
One season ends and another begins.
The school year may not be as fun as summer vacation, but they found the good in it.
They are looking forward to the beginning of the new swim season.
That would never come if it was always summer.
Neither would some of their birthdays and Halloween and Christmas and a whole bunch of other stuff.
So they adjusted their attitudes.
In fact, Number 6, my biggest school hater of them all said, “Mommy, I’m not going to cry today. Because now that I’m going to school, I won’t tell you I’m bored anymore.”
He flipped that one around all on his own.
And so the kids all made it off to school.
Number 3 — not surprisingly — missed the bus on his first day of high school.
I could have yelled at him or lost it, but instead I appreciated the ride and a few last minutes alone with him before he was officially a freshman.
He acknowledged — on his own — that he needs to get up earlier and he probably shouldn’t wait until the morning to pack up his bag. So I guess the learning this school year has already begun.
I told him he could have one free ride per marking period and that this was it.
He got it.
We talked a little.
He was nervous and afraid he’d get lost and that first-day-of-kindergarten anxiety reappeared as first-day-of-high-school anxiety.
Where do I go?
Which way to do I turn to get to my first class?
I reassured him that he was not the only nervous freshman in the building, and he hesitantly went on his way.
I know he’ll be fine, and I look forward to hearing all about his first day.
As much as he’ll share with me, anyway.
Next Number 4 and 5 headed off to school.
Let me just point this out to those of you who may not know… high-waisted mom jeans are now back in style.
And so are scrunchies.
I wish I had saved all those f*&%ing scrunchies from the 80’s.
Number 6 and 7 had fun waiting on the corner for their favorite bus driver to come up the hill before it was time to go wait for their bus.
And then they were off to school, too.
There were no tears and there was no drama.
As they drove down the road, I waited in the driveway for the bus to circle back around, and when it passed our driveway on the way toward school, I waved to Number 7.
She had a smile from ear-to-ear seeing me standing out there, waiting for her to drive past.
I think she thought I’d forget to wait. But I didn’t. And her appreciation of that quick moment was quite obvious.
I am presently enjoying the quiet in my house.
Now my challenge is to get into a productive and efficient routine at home.
It will be an adjustment for all of us. But a good one.
We all needed some space from each other.
I’m going to savor every minute of my uninterrupted alone time.
And then, when the kids start rolling in a little bit after 2:00, I’ll be in a much better place to enjoy every (or mostly every) minute of that time, too.