New Skin

(Can you tell we visited Pisa recently?)

This morning was long awaited. Pencil sets deliberated over, text flurries exchanged with other moms, backpacks arranged and rearranged a dozen times, clothes laid out for a sunrise start. It’s a wonder any of us slept last night.

Even with plenty of time this morning to amble hand in hand to the local bar for breakfast and neighborly hellos, the excitement of new beginnings beat its adrenaline pace in our ears, and Sophie was the first to arrive at preschool. We left her with hugs and a new teacher who understands that nearly-four-year-olds need balloons. My heart still lurched to leave my littlest girl standing uncertainly in an empty classroom, but friends from last year were already trickling into the coat room, and I remembered her brimful happiness at pick-up times past. I remembered to walk out quickly.

One building over, I waited with Natalie, my ever-amazing firstborn who was suddenly small again under her pink backpack as her first school bell rang. There was a bit of a stampede, a noisy orientation, some half-distracted kisses, and then one glimpse through a crowded doorway of my girl sitting bright-eyed next to her best friend, expectant. I didn’t try to get her attention.

The girls’ excitement and internal rush have blazed out, and now it’s my long-awaited Monday morning. I kept my work schedule clear today so I could dive into the full potential of undisturbed time, but the sinking weight of my short Hope To Do list tells me that I need this time for adjusting instead. So much adjusting these days. I love new experiences, growth, and positive change, but I’m as quick to adapt as a faulty chameleon hand-dying new skin.

In light of this unsettled emptiness while I wait for my new skin to be ready, I’m boiling today’s Hope To Do list down to the following:
1) Be present for my girls when I pick them up in a few hours.

None of my goals for the day are worthier than helping make their adjustment a happy one, and who knows? Perhaps a single clear focus is just what I need to smooth the way for my own transition into the school year.

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  1. awww sweet mama….i’m sure you’re on the other side of today over there, but here i blow kisses and love with confidence that they will travel back in time and christen your morning. i hope today brought thrilling surprises and delightful moments of zen for you and yours.
    love you.

  2. Such an exciting time, isn’t it? We did this last Tuesday. However, my kids are already adjusted and only rushed onto the bus, so excited for a new school year, a fresh start. They were ready to get back to it. I remember those days where your heart lives in your throat and the tears threaten to overflow your eyes. When you have to pretend to be brisk and you walk confidently away so they may take some of that confidence for themselves. If they only knew how your knees are turning to jelly and you just hope to be gone before they buckle completely. I hope you have a wonderful morning adjusting to the adjustment of the moment! By next week, you will be over it and enjoying the quiet, or the music you yourself get to pick! xo

  3. Rain – It turned out pretty delightful after all. A heartfelt [literally] thank you for the kisses.

    Megsie – I always tell myself I’m not going to be the jellifying mom, and I probably don’t look like it from the outside… but my oh my. Something about leaving them in a classroom throws a wrench in my heartbeat. Thanks for the encouragement… and the reminder about music. I had forgotten about those little perks!

  4. The two best things you said: “I remembered to leave quickly” and “I didn’t try to get her attention.” Yes. I was just writing about the growing up and growing away and how I must remember that that is the whole point, isn’t it? They grow up. And it is good.

  5. oh. ma. gosh.
    that picture of them and caption just cracks me up 🙂
    there’s something about first-times….the first time of swing dancing had us going home beyond elated, 50 miles above cloud 9. 🙂

  6. Jennifer – It’s good and horrible all at once, and I imagine neither sensation will ever really lessen.

    Beka – I have very little love for first times, so I’m guessing the girls inherited that from their father. 🙂

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