Tuesday, September 4, 2012

first days, new lessons


They're the customary first day of school photos.
As I look at them, I can't help but think ...

Waiting for school to start this year was like waiting to board a rollercoaster, you know the one with the cork screws and hills; the one that creeps up the hill with a click, click, click.

As I waited in that line, I realize that for us, there are only four more first days of school with three kids living here. I look at how tall they are, and their huge sneakers, their adult-sized clothes.
I listen to their excited chatter.
I wonder when they grew this big, developed this style
and whether they'll even be talking to each other tomorrow morning.

I remember the frenzy of school, swimming, basketball, track, dinners too fast, evenings too short, bedtimes too early ... mornings full of yelling that I'm not driving to school when there's a perfectly good bus coming in five minutes. Filling up the calendar last night, I wondered how we could possibly live this busy life. 
At times, it's overwhelming.

Even the kids, as excited as they were to see their friends and have a routine, (okay, maybe that part is me), felt a little anxious. A restructured district, new schools, new teachers, schedules, friends and new lessons.

I'm also beginning to realize that all those 'good for you to learn' lessons are harder to let your kids learn than I ever thought. Standing in the rain (with your mom and an umbrella) for a bus that's 30 minutes late stinks (and makes your socks wet). Beginning school for the first time ever without your best friend is nearly unbearable. Realizing that the classes you start today will impact your high school 
and college years is a big responsibility.

I find myself a different mom than I was eight years ago,
on that first, first day of school. I'm not nervous anymore.
I know that my kids will ask the right people. 
They'll make new friends and they will achieve their goals.

Eight years ago, I would have driven my son to school rather than wait for a bus; I would have found my daughter a bunch of new friends; and I would have wanted to do in-home study sessions.

Now I know that these are their lessons.
Though my lessons may be learned, my children offer daily lessons:
I learn that even if my socks are wet,
I'm still running to be the first one on the bus, smiling.
Friends move away, and we will stay in touch.
And big responsibilities make for big shoulders.

For now, though, our seat belts have been secured. 
And we're smiling with anticipation and a little trepidation.
We will enjoy this ride -- this 2012-13 ride --
though our stomachs may land before our feet. 
Somedays we'll just have to throw our hands in the air and scream it out. 
We will more often find ourselves smiling and laughing. 

Still, I can hear the click, click, click ...

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