I still can't quite believe that school days are back already. At the beginning of the summer, if felt like we had endless days of relaxation ahead of us. And then I blinked. And school started again.
I am mixed in my emotions. On one hand, I am excited about getting back into routine and structure again. It's always refreshing to have a break from it in the summer time, which in turn, makes it nice again in the fall:) Good cycle.
And my other emotion, of course, is the lump-in-my-throat feeling I get when I realize yet again how big my boys are getting. I teased Samuel that he wasn't a 2nd grader until today because he was ready months ago! We were walking to school this morning and he said, "I bet you're sad today because you don't want us to get older."
But the thing is, I do want them to get older. I do want to watch them grow and learn new things and be amazed at the people they are becoming. I want to see what they will do with their lives! It's just hard to watch it go by so quickly.
Samuel has been nervous for a few days now but I reminded him what a great year he had last year and he didn't know anybody and was in a brand-new school. And this year, he already has a few friends in his class and knows the school. He's also right next door to Mrs S, his teacher from last year;)
I still can't get over this.....
The boys' schools are right next door to each other. Zakkai's is an entire school for kindergarten and Samuel's is 1st-6th grade. Their days will start within 15 minutes of each other but they let siblings of S's school be dropped off a few minutes early at the kindergarten school. The Forest Road kids (as they call the siblings:) get dropped off at the back door by the playground. We had to rush over their after watching Samuel's class go inside and drop Zakkai off. All the kindergartners had nametags pinned to their backpacks stating their name, their teacher's name and which door they are entering.
There were teachers waiting at the doors and we just had to wait in line and then hand over our kids to the teachers, who walked them to their classrooms a few at a time.
I kissed Zakkai and hugged him and handed him over to a teacher. He kept looking back at me and just looked really lost. I kept my emotions together really well but I could feel tears just begging to be released and a lump taking up residence in my throat.
How is my sweet little baby 5 years old and ready for kindergarten??? It just seems so unbelievable to me. He was the baby of the family for 3 1/2 years and now he's becoming his own person, not just a little tag-along brother who's waiting his turn. He's the big kid now. He's the one who's about to learn to read and write and become more independent.
Okay, the lump is growing.
We were really thankful to discover that one of our good buddies (in the pics above) has the same teacher as Zakkai. Her big brother was in Samuel's class last year (unfortunately, not this year) and we hung out a lot this summer. I'm so glad Z knows one person in his class!
They all posed for pics patiently and then wanted to do a silly one. Eliana got in on the silly faces, too, which cracked all of the big kids up:) She's a goofy one!
Tomorrow I send my boys off for a long day of school. The district starts them out slowly. They skip Monday, the first day is 1-1 1/2 hours, the second day falls on Wed which is a shortened day (by 45 min) every single week (teacher meetings or something) and then 2 full days.
I think Zakkai is a little nervous about the thought of being separated from me for a whole day. We are preparing ourselves for the inevitable weeks of adjustment with exhaustion, extra emotions and the need for more reassurance. It's tough being a 5 year old and suddenly going to school for 6 1/2 hours! I pray he adjusts well and makes new friends and just grows in confidence this year.
Both boys are going to school with small laminated wallets of our newest family picture, each inscribed with a bible verse and a little message telling them how much we love them on the back. I started this with Samuel when he entered kindergarten and it's become a tradition. Something special for him to look at and be reminded that he isn't alone and that we are praying for him and love him so much. And now Zakkai gets his very own, too:)
Now we'll see how Eliana does without her "Brudders" all day....