Two Weeks Late…

Today Elijah and Cora had their first day of school…almost two weeks after all the other kids in their class. Excitedly they put on their new clothes, carried their new backpacks full of school supplies and new lunch boxes full of enviable snacks. Cheesy grins and tilted heads came out for the obligatory “first-day-of-school” picture, and then we were off.

“I’m kind of nervous.” 

The closer we got to the school, the more they shared about their fears relating to a new school, new teachers, and new friends.

“What if nobody likes me?”

“What’s my teacher’s name again?”

“When will you pick us up?”

Escorted by the school secretary, we dropped off Eli first, barely saying goodbye before she whisked us off to Cora’s class. Looking back his eyes were Charlie Brown-ish in their wide-eyed anxiety. I waved again, to reassure him, and hurried to catch up.

Cora giggled her way through introductions and instructions on where to place her lunch and backpack. She too looked fearful, but covered it up with giddy energy. Once again I’m sending a baby off to school, feeling the slight give as she pulls a step away from me.

I wanted to yank her back, hold her in my arms and run with her to Eli. The amount of change and transition they have experienced in the last few months has been overwhelming. Instead, I walked away, smiling a reassuring smile; my heart tap danced inside my chest.

Calling Josh, we talked about how nervous we each were for them, while at the same time reassuring one another that they would be fine.

And they were.

Six hours later I picked them up; they non-stop chattered about playing Lava Monster at recess, learning to write lowercase “l,” and how they saw each other at lunch.

So begins another school year…

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And off we go…

Today marks a transition in the Brotherton household.

Our firstborn started Kindergarten.

We were calculating last night, and this means that for the next 18 years we will have a child going off to school every morning. From now until I’m 48 there will be homework, school lunches and early mornings — because we all know it goes until your child graduates from high school, no matter how responsible they think they are.

I did not cry.

Shocked awake by the alarm this morning, I rolled over and saw my 6-year-old son grinning like the Cheshier Cat.

“Is it time to get up and get ready for school?!”

I so remember that feeling. The anticipation of a new school year, the fun of new clothes and school supplies, the energy pulsing though your body that won’t let you sleep.

By 6:45 Eli was dressed and sitting on the couch. Wearing. His. Backpack.


Because mommy needed caffeine it was his first day, we got a small treat at Starbucks.

Then it was off to the elementary school.

Now it’s not just Eli’s first day. This is my first day as a school-age mom. So forgive me if I had a little trouble getting it all right. I’ll do better next time.

We took the obligatory “first day” picture and then marched off to the classroom.

Eli learned the morning check-in routine…

…and then was off to play on the playground.

And I didn’t cry.