The first day of school is a special, and sentimental, day for both children and parents alike. It is the day we say goodbye to the days of getting up at whenever o’clock and going on vacation and say hello to early breakfasts, walks to the bus stop, and the dreaded homework. Like most of my friends, I have young children who will be going back to school this year. Unlike some of them, however, the kiddos will be starting a new school in a new city and they will be taking the bus for the first time. Normal parents would see this as something to be emotional about. I am not a normal parent.
As we walked to the bus stop this morning, I was a little nervous about how readily they’d get on it. The older two have some trepedations about new and unfamiliar situations and we often have to prepare them for such changes. As they walked eagerly to the bus stop and waited with anticipation for theirs to arrive, I saw that there was no reason to be nervous. They were going to be just fine. For they were about to embark on a new adventure in their newly adopted city. There were going to be new friends and new experiences. And best of all, they had each other; if nothing else, they had each other.
And so I saw no reason to cry. I didn’t cry while getting them ready. I didn’t cry as they walked to the bus stop. And I didn’t even cry as the bus drove away and I headed back toward the house. Not. One. Tear. I know that being in school is the best place for them. My social butterflies live for the interaction with friends who share their unique interests. My son was the only boy in our house during the day for almost 3 months. I am sure he will be relieved to have his interest in superheroes and Legos returned with the same vigor. My daughter complained she was bored almost everyday, regardless of my attempts to create exciting summer experiences. Going back to school means that she will constantly have something to do, a positive for preventing undesirable behaviors as often happens when she gets bored. They will be closer to the best parts of the city, including the museums and monuments with multiple field trips to look forward to throughout the year. The school year brings about Girl Scout meetings and art class registration. It brings about order and routine which are so critical for keeping the children from becoming overwhelmed. And it brings a quieter household, something that is so rare for a family of 5 to have. If school starting brings a little more sanity to my day, then there is nothing to cry about, except for tears of joy.
So today is a happy day. Today, I was able to focus on only one child, and quiet time in the house was a real, true quiet time. Today, I was able to make a cup of coffee and drink the entire thing without it getting cold. Today, I saved so many snacks from being ravaged through. Today, I sat down and got to talk on the phone without having to say “hold on.” Today, I got through an entire episode of “Cold Case” without having to pause it for over an hour. Today, I wrote this entire post without one interruption or “save until later.”
Today was a good day, and no, I did not cry once about it.