Sunday, August 16, 2015

First Day of School

The girls started school on August 13 -- the earliest start to a school year they've ever had. Looking through the calendar of their new school,there are many days off and early dismissals sprinkled throughout, probably to accommodate military families. Yet another new school for these kids -- the charter school we sent them to last year just wasn't a good fit for our family. It's still way too early to tell how this school will work out, but already I am liking having our kids going to the DoD school with all the kids on our street and most of the kids in the neighborhood. I know their parents and feel much more comfortable than I did last year when I knew almost no one they went to school with. The kids they ride the bus with are the same kids they play outside with. I am really hopeful that the girls will bond more with the girls who live down the street. I don't have to worry about Timmy, he makes friends in a second. It will be his turn to get on the bus with them on the 27th when he starts half day pre-k. In the meantime, he gets to enjoy being a bum all morning for a little while longer.

I got up early and made pancakes from scratch. I had written this little bit of encouragement on our chalkboard the night before.
I jumped the gun and took them outside for pictures when it was still too dark. The bus comes right around 7. It was so muggy outside that those signs they're holding turned into damp rags after a few minutes.
Once it was time to go two mailboxes down to the bus stop I begged them to let me take one last picture on the sidewalk because I had the sun behind me and there was finally enough light for a decent shot. Annie agreed if I promised that it would be the last. Timmy had to be in the picture, of course, there was no talking him out of it. No talking him into putting those flipflops on his feet either. 
We waited with the small crowd of other kids and parents, everyone kind of nervous and excited. When the bus came around the corner and I looked down at Delaney, she was swiping a tear away. Reflexively, my eyes started misting up too, and I gave her a squeeze around the shoulders and kiss on her head. My heart ached for her, my brave little girl who's had to go to three schools in three years. Annie was being stoic, but I know this moment was just as hard for her. The first day is so scary. I hugged and kissed them each a couple more times and hoped they couldn't tell that I wanted to cry too. I was glad they at least got to go together, even if they were being dropped off at separate schools. 

When they got off the bus that afternoon around 3:15, they were tired but in good spirits. While they had cookies and milk, Annie told me that the teacher had given her juice that calmed down the butterflies in her tummy, juice that was sweet but also a little sour. Hmm, what kind of juice is that? Delaney had nothing to report except that she'd been chosen to be student of the day, the kid who is line leader and stuff.  

I am hoping and praying for a good school year for these kids!

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