(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.