Another first day of school is in the books and we survived! It was definitely a day filled with a lot of emotions and some surprise reactions to the day.
I was quite proud of myself for making sure I had myself organized to start the day. I started my “Back to School Plan” (I will share in an upcoming blog) and I even had dinner started before 8:00 am! Woohoo for me! I think that shocked the hell out of my kids! But no amount of planning could prepare me for how each of my VERY different children would handle their own emotions of the day.
Ella completely shocked me. She didn’t need reminders to get moving and she didn’t even pull out her iPad! I was anticipating a full on anxiety attack. Her behavior the night before all pointed toward one. She is on the Safety Patrol Team and she started first thing this week which meant leaving the house early, dropping her off, and getting back for the other two to take the bus. Yes I wanted Hunter and especially Gracie to ride the bus to school because it was Gracie’s first time and have you ever been to morning drop off at a school???? Ella is very reserved and it is hard to get her to show any emotion yet alone verbalize anything. She asked me to walk her to the door and as we were walking, she grabbed my hand! I thought here we go. She is going to lose it. I was completely wrong! I asked her if she was nervous and she was calm and said a little. I gave her a hug and kiss and whispered “I love you” and to my pleasant surprise, she looked at me and smiled and said “I love you too”. I walked back to the van (thankfully with sunglasses on) and tears of pure joy filled my eyes. For today, she was OK and that is HUGE for us. For today, she had a light in her eyes that made her look even more beautiful. For today, in her world, all was good.
Hunter who is my calm, cool, and collective boy was struggling to hide his fear. He had been dreading the start of school. He knew none of his buddies were with him and knew he really didn’t know anyone in his class very well. But he put on a brave face and was the first to be ready and the first to be out of the van to head to the bus stop. But as the neighborhood kids slowly came, I watched my fun-loving boy turn into the school boy who lost all his confidence toward the end of last year. My heart ached. I knew he didn’t want to go. I knew he was being the boy who puts everyone else first. He made sure to include Gracie in the bus stop fun. He survived the day. But he was miserable. Bed couldn’t come fast enough for him. He doesn’t want to go back. He cried at bedtime and when I asked him why, he just looked at me and said he didn’t know. For him, he is afraid. For him, he wants summer all year. So for him, I will continue to help him find the good in each day.
And finally my sweet and sassy girl, Miss Gracie shocked the hell out of me! She was ready and she was very impatient waiting for the morning to get to the point when the bus was going to take her to the “big kids’ school”. She practically kicked Ella out of the van when we dropped her off. Just like Hunter, she was ready to get out at the bus stop and hang out with the kids. But as more kids came, the quieter she became and stood by me- no latched onto me. The bus pulled up across the street and her face changed. I took her hand and said how she gets to go on the bus first since she is in kindergarten. So I put her in line and as I back away our eyes meet and her little brown eyes were filled with tears!!!!! What?!?? Tears?!?? Are you kidding me?!?? Ella and Hunter couldn’t get on that bus fast enough when they started kindergarten. Gracie was my free spirit and I want to be like the big kids child. And here we are as the bus pulls up and I am trying to keep myself together for her. She is like me…she took a deep breath and managed an adorable smile and got on that bus! She sat down and I tapped on the window and she couldn’t look at me. I watched her keep looking up and then down….she didn’t want tears to fall down her face. The bus drove off and I just had to get in the van…tears just started flowing. But she is ready for another day. She told me as we laid on the couch to cuddle this afternoon that she kept saying to herself “Don’t cry” over and over again. Just melts my heart.
Who knows what this school year will hold for all of us. There will be some struggles and triumphs. But I am determined to help them get through them all because they are the ones who will help me get through them.