I'm thinking next week is going to produce some interesting scenarios around this house, as the school year rolls into gear. The earlier bedtime, for example, is sure to be met with a great amount of complaints, whining, and all around defiance. The earlier rising time, is going to be complete torture. The run, er... walk to the bus stop at a time of day when we're usually all still tucked in bed... the first days, the tears, the excitement... And that's just talking about me. Them? Not so concerned. They go to bed fairly well. They wake much too early for summer vacation, so I don't foresee too much difficulty in that arena. And they're both quite ready and excited to go.
But, oh, do I get anxious this time of year. (Well, okay, to be fair- I got anxious about last school year and I'm anxious again this year, this is only the second time I've done this first-day-of-school thing as a mom. Be patient with me.) Really, I know they will be fine, but as my head hits the pillow at night, my mind starts to whirl. I think of everything I should tell them, knowing I will have let them learn most of for themselves. I think of how much they have to learn, and I wonder if I could ever do it again. I'm pretty sure I could not do it all over again- and that's why it's so good we know not what lies ahead, but only what's in this moment. I think of disappointments that are sure to happen, but at the same time, all the happy times they will have.
I think of how brave they have to be, and how brave I'll have to pretend to be.
Each morning as the links on the countdown chain disappear, I see their excitement increasing and I know they won't always be this ready to begin school. And so, in all my worried-anxious-excited-nervous-over-emotional ways, I do the only thing I can- appreciate the moment. I let my heart skip a beat here and there as I think of the ups and downs and struggles life brings, and all that they must go through. But right now all I can do is give them hugs, remind them how I love them, and then watch them go- off to make their own discoveries, their own friends, their own happiness.
But, that's not to say I'm not going to shed any tears watching. There will be plenty of those as the school bus drives away, but I'm so glad there will be two little girls to cuddle with me while the big kids are gone- we just all might need a few extra hugs those first days back.