Photo: Because I’m limping to the first day of school, I have taken no pictures lately. Not with my phone, not with my good camera. Going back in my recent pics, this one caught my eye and I thought I’d share. Our lovely friend who hosted us for bunny introductions has a wonderful garden with whimsical details. This owl caught my attention and I had to snap a pic. I’ve always loved owls, but they’ve come newly into focus for my lately. I think this piece of art is just delightful.
So I’m sitting at dinner with my two little boys this evening, and we’re recounting all the things that happened this summer. Minor still has the jitters about what’s coming, despite a fairly successful Kindergarten Orientation (which I’ll get to in a sec). So we kinda went through a list of all the cool things we’ve done, and thought about what comes next. Then Major said, “wow, it’s been a pretty super cool summer.” So I was like, “well, you know, who made that happen for you?”
And this was Major’s response: “Our grandparents.”
I near about died.
The Husband chocked on his dinner and laughed.
Wow, ya’ll. One whole American summer just gone and I guess I ain’t got nothin’ to show for it.
Usually Major is the emotionally intelligent child, but he didn’t quite understand our reaction, which makes it worse. Minor was the one who caught wise and started trying to make me feel better. “No! It was Mommy! Mommy made our summer great!”
But it was too late. Toooooooooo late.
I don’t blame the child. We had a great time in Maryland thanks to awesome grandparents who let us stay with them for an extended period of time. But just to be clear: summer camp was paid for by two hard-working parents, and so were quite a few meals and snacks, not to mention all the gas to get to and fro. It wasn’t a free ride.
But the children don’t need to know all that. There will be a place and time for them to learn the logistics and resources necessary to make their life possible… but for now, they are children and if they want to harbor a special love for their grandparents because of the awesome July they had… I suppose I shouldn’t begrudge them. I suppose.
Kindergarten orientation went by yesterday with only a few hiccups. Getting to be in the same class and have the same teacher as last year makes my life awesome and I certainly had a different go-round this year! I really enjoyed Major’s ownership of the space, touring his brother around the room and noticing many changes that were made over the summer. “Why is this here? What happened to that?” It was adorable. Minor was perfectly happy to be shown around while I chatted up the teachers and other parents of younger siblings who are also in the class. There will be a group of 4 younger siblings in class this year, each with big siblings in 1st grade with Major! Isn’t that crazy? And here I thought we were the only parents who did this birthing thing on hard mode!
Minor was quite shy around his new teachers, despite getting to know them last year. Hi-fives were tepid, saying hello was practically a whisper, and no questions were answered. It took a little while but, after some time, he tugged on my shirt and said, “this isn’t so bad after all.” I was so heartened! I knew he’d come around! After about 15 minutes in the classroom together, parents and siblings were dismissed to the cafeteria and so the kindergarteners could experience their classroom with their teachers without extra eyes or other interferences.
That’s when things got real.
Neither of us cried, but it was a fairly tense moment. He didn’t want us to go. Mostly, he didn’t want Major to go. To face that big classroom without his big brother was something he didn’t think he could do. I got down on my knees and held his little hands and looked at his little face and told him he’d be ok. He did a whole school year without his brother and he was great. He actually can exist in the world and have a great time without his brother is he wants to. And besides, he would get to finally have a ride on a real life school bus in just a little bit!
He didn’t really believe me. About the being ok part… not about the school bus part. He actually perked up about the school bus part…. But he put on a brave face and let the teaching assistant come and distract him. I left the room with Major, worried in a way I hadn’t been when I did this last year.
Major gleefully ate baked goods and drank lemonade while the Principal and other school leaders talked about the logistics of being a grade-school family. I listened and took notes. We’ve got to sort out our bus schedule and do some other things. I was very distracted thinking about how Minor was doing… expecting any moment to see the teaching assistant bust into the cafeteria all red in the face.
It didn’t happen. The child was fine. He jumped off the bus, got his little welcome flower and pencil, and was fine.
And so here we are… the countdown begins. Just a few days left. And thank goodness. It’s time for them to go back. I think they’ll be ready… though Major seems to also have the sniffles now…
See you Friday for Quiet (sniffle-filled) Thoughts.