It's a peculiar feeling.
I think if I hadn't had this new job at the library to go to after all three of our children had the audacity to leave me in pursuit of this strange thing called "an education," that first day of school would not have been pretty. No sirree. As it was, Derek and I escorted them to the bus stop, where those kids got on the bus and just... left. They didn't even try to paste sad expressions on their faces for my benefit; no, they were all smiling and excited, especially the little one. Yes, I'm aware that if any of them had struggled with leaving that morning it would have made things that much harder for me. Please don't try to bring rational thought to this party, as it was not invited.
|Two happy boys, one sassy girl who gave me this sarcastic smile because she declared herself too preoccupied by the heavy percussion kit on her back to be able to take first day of school pictures. Hrmph.|
As it was, the kids climbed on the bus most enthusiastically, Derek headed off to work, and I walked home, where I sniffled around the house while contemplating blowing off my friends at the coffee shop. I mean, really, who would want this sad sack around?
Thankfully, I did not, and was incredibly cheered by those same friends who, for reasons that continue to elude me, include my sad sack-ness in their midst on a regular basis. The mocha latte probably helped, too.
Then, thank the Lord, I got to go to a library run by compassionate women who have been there and done that and/or are being there and doing that, so I was in good company with my all-my-babies-have-left-me self.
That first day flew by despite my continuing feeling of emotional fragility, and it was soon time to meet them as they got off the school bus.
That first day and every one since, Caedmon has reassured me that he loves kindergarten, except for two things: "I don't like it that all the kids disobey all the time and everyone is so loud." This is classic Caedmon, as half the things he says would be equally likely to come out of the mouth of a cranky old man. He is our five-year-old curmudgeon.
Atticus says second grade is "good. What, it's good! What else do you want me to say?"
Adelaide is the opposite of Atticus in that she has had lots of things to say about fifth grade. So. many. words. Most of them are of a sensitive nature, though, so I won't be repeating them here. Our daughter likes to talk her feelings over with us, and I appreciate that she's still willing to share such things with her lame-o parents, so if she's willing to talk, I'm willing to listen. I am thinking of insisting on regular snack breaks going forward, as it will both keep my blood sugar up and me awake (these conversations take place in the evening, and these days anytime you sit me down past 7 PM and expect me to stay awake is no bueno), plus chewing makes it so I'm not tempted to give advice. We've found it's best if we're doing about 90% listening and 10% advice-giving. This is tougher for Derek than it is for me, as he is a fixer. Hmm. Maybe he needs the snacks. Something sticky- peanut butter, or maybe caramel? It doesn't matter that his advice is sound; such things no longer seem to matter. In all this talking, she gets to work things out for herself by talking it through, and we are getting concentrated lessons in patience. It's so fun!