|Louie and Tim, fishing off the dock at the cabin|
|ECFE end-of-year party... in MAY!|
|Random spontaneous backyard summer awesomeness|
|Go find your brother with those kid|
|Big catches labor day weekend!|
So we've been playing hooky from real life, even though day-to-day life isn't really that different on the outside, it somehow feels different. It smells different. And I liked the lack of busy, even though we do seem to keep quite busy. Fun busy is different from "have-to" busy. In the summertime I find we do much more with our evenings, all of us with more energy and enthusiasm for truly LIVING (well pregnancy steals a little bit of that unfortunately), those winter weeknight hours of sitting in our living room willing for bedtime to come feels like a distant memory, memories I am currently pretending won't become our reality again in a few months. There have been more nightly baths and later bedtimes but it's all worth it, because there are also more smiles and more sunshine and more family togetherness that doesn't feel forced.
|Local fire station open-house|
|Zoo with cousin Graham|
|Twins game in early June. I was pregnant, but didn't know it.|
|6:30 PM bedtimes at the cabin|
But nothing smacks you harder with reality than September. A new school year. A suddenly full weekly calendar. Meticulous planning for pick-ups and drop-offs, and 30 minutes setting up iPhone reminders for little things like snack sign-up and preschool pajama day. I like it but I don't.
As a student, I've always loved the start of the school year. I spent weeks thinking about what I would wear on the first day, I would lay in bed for hours staring at the clock, willing myself to fall asleep but my adrenaline too high. I loved it.
As a parent, of two kids not quite in real school yet, I have mixed emotions. Excitement? For sure. Pride, anticipation, nervousness, worry, lots of jitters. The worry usually rears its ugly head when I'm laying in bed at night, and the funny thing is I'm not even really stewing about school this year. Gus is going to the same wonderful preschool, 3 days a week this year rather than 2. And I'm only a little anxious but that's just because that's how I get with my tough-cookie-to-crack first-born who seems to have a harder time adapting to change. Sleep is a big thing for him during the school year, when he gets off, he gets OFF and it greatly impacts how his days go at school and daycare.
|Turned 5 just a few days ago!|
So for those reasons and many more, the excitement of the start of a new school year is mixed with some melancholy. Following the steps we know we have to follow in order for him to be successful also means life is a little less fun. Less spontaneity. Less "throwing caution to the wind". A lot of checking and double-checking of calendars to make sure we're not missing something.
I also can't help but think ahead to the year of decisions we have to make, about Kindergarten for next year. Public or private? In-district transfer? When is the lottery for the district STEM school again? Open enrollment outside of the district? Drop-off or bus? And then we will need to figure out what latchkey issues each of our options present. It all feels so huge and monumental and I think right now I know the best place for him (for our whole family really, that's the other thing about all of this, Louie and baby Nubs will go here too), I know where we're leaning. But truly? You don't really ever know. It's the fear of unknown, I've always struggled with this, and I can't really picture what life will be like with kids full-time in school.. I have no way to determine how things will go, and I honestly just want the decision to be made so I can move on in my mind and start powering forward.
Louie and I started a new ECFE class today, through another district because we couldn't find a way to fit any of the classes offered with our own district into this newly "busy" little life of ours. So I was actually nervous, it's new for me too, and I felt sad to not be going to the same local school I've been going for ECFE since Gus was a tiny baby. Well it went really great, though Louie was so nervous and kept asking me over and over if I was going to go drink coffee with the other moms and leave him there, and I said yes, but not until lots of fun playtime and circle time together. He was quiet on the car ride there, and again asked me the same questions, one after another, and would look down at his hands and talk really quietly when I brought up things he might do at school. Oh he seriously is the sweetest child, I feel so so grateful to be his mom and to be one of the people in this world he loves the most. I do not take fact, nor the weight of it for granted. Lucky lucky me.
This year is going to be great. My gut says so. I am hopeful and tentatively excited. Wish I wasn't such a headcase about things, change in particular, but I'm guessing I'm not the first mom out there mulling over this stuff in her brain over and over and over to the point of craziness? I feel like as a parent of littles, especially when they were babies, I was able to roll with the punches and let my instincts take over... I guess I'm counting on and hoping those instincts will do me well in this next phase of life. The school years. Crossing my fingers.