My kids have started back to school this week. Tuesday was our first day - Beth started Middle School, Josiah started kindergarten and Katie-Abigail & Emma started at their new elementary school. So far, so good!
Beth was very nervous about starting Middle School - mostly because she likes to know what to expect and honestly, we didn't know what to expect. I was homeschooled and Daniel barely remembers those years - all we could tell her was you'll do great. But she was still super-anxious. However she came home with an enormous smile on her face, saying it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be, she had all advanced classes and she loved her teachers. Over-all, so far in this first week, it feels like the accumulation of twelve years of trying to parent her well and five years of trying to help her through Elementary School (she was homeschooled for Kindergarten) is all starting to pay off and it feels really rewarding. Watching her make good choices and have a good attitude in a situation where things could go either way is the best thing ever.
Josiah started Kindergarten this year and all of my internal agonizing has been for nothing. He has been a fantastic Kindergartener. Calm, confident, friendly, kind, obedient. Watching him at school makes my heart grow two sizes! I met him at school when he got off the bus on the first day of school. His class room was chaos - like it always is on the first day. There were parents everywhere, paperwork being furiously completed and Josiah simply found his seat and waited patiently for his teacher to come tell him what to do. I helped him find his cubby and hang his backpack on a hook. He said "It's okay, you can go. I'll ride the bus home, but it'll be awhile." I ate lunch with him yesterday - same thing. Calm & confident. I expected him to do well. I did not expect him to do this well. My heart just explodes with pride and gratitude when I see him enjoying being at school and being a joy to be with. And when your kids love school and do so well there it makes letting them go a little bit easier.
As much as I miss my kids during the day, I have to say that I've loved the time spent at home with only Eli. He just turned two and I love that now I have the time to just sit and watch him eat a piece of pizza and fall to pieces over the cuteness of it or chat while he munches on his goldfish. I read to him and we color and draw. The house is peaceful and calm and I snuggle my baby. We empty the dishwasher together and he "helps" me sweep. It's really really nice.
Today is the first morning that Eli has slept in past the time when we wait for his siblings to get on the bus. The house is so quiet. It's wonderful. I love it.