Daily Archives: August 14, 2009

New Beginnings

I enjoyed our discussion about blogging yesterday. It sounds like we’re all pretty much on the same page. We’d rather send and receive feedback through email instead of going back and forth in the comments. I’m interested in the Disqus system that Emily mentioned. I commented on her blog today using it and it seems fairly straightforward for the commenter. I need to do a little more research on how it works for the blogger.  Maybe Emily can put her teaching skills to good use and tell us more. I’ve also learned that Blogger doesn’t seem to be email friendly. Come on over to the WordPress team, friends! 😉

So what am I talking about today? How about this quotation:

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Well now, I don’t know about that, but I do know that for the first time in almost nine years, I will soon have three days a week that I won’t be with my children or someone else’s children. A friend asked me what I was going to do when my youngest two start three-day kindergarten on Monday and I had no answer. For the first few weeks I have plenty to do around the house, but after that? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with myself! I may be taking inventory at Target on a more frequent basis!

Today we worked on our school supply lists.

Dear Smokey the Bear, I’m so sorry for the trees who gave their lives so that my children could have 4 packs of notebook paper, one composition book, four packs of construction paper, ten packs of pencils,  five boxes of Kleenex, and 4 boxes of wipes.  Maybe we can plant a tree or two in memory. Love, Whimzie

Deforestation aside, I love buying school supplies. I’m not sure if it’s that I enjoy checking things off of lists or if it’s that the unused bottles of glue and unsharpened pencils feel like shiny New Year’s Resolutions that haven’t been broken yet. That whole “fresh start” feeling is intoxicating to me.

Tonight was kindergarten orientation. Ours is a small and fairly new school and my youngest two are the first set of twins in the school’s history. You’d think maybe we could get an extra “novelty discount” or something, but the board didn’t go for that. Originally I thought they should be in the same class and the school supported my right to choose that option. But tonight, as I watched my little girl find her name on the balloons taped outside her new kindergarten room, I realized that something was bothering her.

“Don’t you like your new room?”

“I like the room, it’s just that…” She looked down at her sandals.

“What is it? Whatever you’re thinking, it’s okay. You can tell me.”

“Well,” she said in a quiet voice that I had to bend closer to hear, “I thought it would be fun if  (her brother) and I were in different rooms this time.”

Ever feel twenty feelings at the same time? Right then, I felt like I’d missed a big question on the motherhood test. I shouldn’t have insisted that they be in the same room. What was I thinking?

But right then I also knew exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking about her brother. He’s not as sure of himself as she is. Although she doesn’t speak for him and in preschool you never found them in the same centers or at the same snack table, her presence in the room islike a safety net for him. He’s going through a fearful stage right now. He never wants to be more than a few feet away from another person, and she’s always been there for him….from even before they were born.  I thought having her in the same class would make the school transition easier for him.

But she’s ready to spread her wings and get a little bit of distance. This move she begged for her own room. Her dad and I decided that it was probably a good time to let her have her own space. I know that it’s not that she loves her brother any less. At random times throughout the day it isn’t uncommon to see them holding hands or laughing together.  I understand her need for places and people that belong just to her. He needs to find his own way, too. I just can’t help but ache a little for him.

She and I went to her teacher and she told Mrs. D how she was feeling. Mrs. D said that moving her to the other kindergarten room would actually help even out their numbers. We walked across the hall  and met her newer new teacher and she showed my little girl where she would sit.

I’m probably making it a bigger deal than it really is. I bet that before the second hour of the first day he won’t even notice she’s not there. Maybe the bigger deal is mine. I’ll know she’s not there. It feels like we’ve turned a little corner. The times they are a-changin’.

So Monday it begins…We’re all going to have to figure out what in the world to do with ourselves.

I know we’ll start by taking our obligatory “first day of school pictures” by the front door. I noticed that my college friend Sara takes a first and last day of school picture and on the first day picture the kids indicate by a show of fingers what grade they’re beginning. I think we’ll try that this year, but how many fingers do you hold up for kindergarten?

I want to know if you have any “first day of school” traditions. Do you eat a special breakfast? Do something special after school? Or did your family do something fun for the first day of school when you were little? Discuss.

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