Guess who made it successfully through the first day of kindergarten and third grade without crying or pitching a fit? The Little Snoodles…and their mama.
This is the part of the post where I would insert our first day of school pictures if I hadn’t left the cord that connects the camera to the computer at my parents’ house. Instead of describing in vivid detail what everyone looked like, why don’t we do a photo recap of the event as soon as I get the cord, okay? Maybe we’ll even throw in a picture or two of the dropcloth curtains if you’re sweet. Let me just tell you this: Mary Englebreit only wishes she’d seen kids as cute as mine so she could draw them for her calendars. I felt sorry for all the other kids.
As of yesterday, we’ve been on time for every day of school this year. To be fair, I had some extra help motivating the troops to get out of bed the first day. My husband’s boss’s dog spent the night with us Sunday night. I was more than a little nervous about this houseguest. First of all, my husband’s boss is very important. Not that the rest of us aren’t. It’s just that people don’t usually stand up when I enter the room. Unless they see me coming and decide to leave on my account.
Here’s the other thing. I’m prone to hyperbole and exaggeration. No, really, I am. Sometimes I say things to make a point that sound a little off-the-wall. For example, once upon a time, my husband was selected for a new assignment. I was asked if it was a “done deal” and I said, “Well, unless he runs over his boss’s dog or something, he should get this job.” Have your words ever come back to haunt you? You’d better believe that dog was one well-watched puppy. Remember the first night home from the hospital with your new baby? Did you sit and stare to make sure he/she was breathing? It was kind of like that. Except the baby slept on a stack of carefully folded blankets on the floor by my bed.
But like I said, she came in very handy this morning. She licked the kids’ faces this morning and they bounded out of bed all smiles and giggles. Hmmm…maybe that’s what I’ve been leaving out of my “good morning” routine for the past few years. I made Aunt Sus’s (aka CPQ) egg toast for breakfast….after I called her at 6 a.m. CST to remember how to cook it properly. By the way, Sus, I didn’t write it down, so you may be hearing from me some morning in the near future. I tucked sweet little notes in each specially packed lunch. Of course, the boys opened their lunch boxes on the way to school and asked, “What didja put this in here for?” but I know they felt the love. We left the house just shy of my target departure time and made it to school with a few minutes to spare.
Grammy and Dad were able to come with me to the First Day of School chapel. We sang songs and heard a good encouraging word and prayed to dedicate this school year to the glory of God. My eyes got a little full, but no tears spilled over. And then the students lined up by class and walked right into their brand new school year. Would they remember to raise their hands if they needed to ask something? Would they ask for help if they couldn’t get their water bottles detached from their backpacks? Would they find at least one friend at recess? Would this first day of kindergarten and third grade be everything they’d hoped it would be? Sigh. Today was a day of growing up and letting go.
And then I went to Starbucks.
And wandered around town aimlessly.
And realized that maybe I should develop a plan for the days my children are in school.
And discovered that I was just as good at wasting time with no children present as I am when they are with me.
Everyone was all smiles when I picked them up at the end of the day. My youngest son was excited because a new classmate had a birthday on the first day and brought everyone cookie cake for snack. For a brief minute, I could tell my daughter thought she may have picked the wrong class, but she had plenty of good things to say about her day.
Even though they’re in different classes, my youngest have the exact same homework (big help for mom!). When we got home, they sat together at the dining room table working on their math worksheets. They laughed and colored and shared more about their day. Watching them work, I thought that maybe being apart a few hours three days a week will make them closer. My idea was confirmed when I was checking over their worksheets. For one of the exercises, they were asked to draw a picture of their friend. He draw a picture of his sister. And that’s when I cried.