It’s Monday morning.
The first day of school. My two oldest kids have beaten me downstairs and went straight to the Wii for their last hurrah at Power-Pros. I’m making the lunches, and while I work on auto-pilot from the years of packing lunches and snacks, the task still seems somewhat unfamiliar after a long summer.
Did I give enough snack? Did I give too much?
I err on the side of overboard and pack away. Sitting here at 6:40am, I’m tired. Throughout the summer I’ve generally gotten up at 7:30am or so, sometimes earlier to write, but now I feel weary and anxious, with a strange emptiness in my stomach like we’re catching a 5:30am flight. I worry. Do we have everything? Am I prepared? Are they prepared?
First days are always stressful I guess, so I’m happy to hear the happy shouts coming from the basement of the boys engaged in something other than worry.
It’s the first day of middle school for my oldest; a huge school with 1,200 kids, different ‘houses’ and switching classes. The middle school could eat the elementary school. In fact, it has. Its combines five elementary schools in its belly.
It’s the first day of Kindergarten for my youngest, a transition which terrifies me; the new school, the bus, the long day away, all things not only unfamiliar to my child, but unacceptable. Please, please, let him adjust easily.
And it’s the first day of third grade for my middle one, with a teacher I’m just not so sure about.
Worry. Worry. Worry.
And here’s my oldest, up from the basement, head on my lap, saying, “I don’t wanna go to middle school.”
“But it’s going to be so good, honey.” I coo. “You get to do so many new things, meet so many new people. It’s an adventure. You’re going to love it.”
My youngest just walked down from sleep, naked, but for his underwear, ran right into my lap like a warm muffin and broke down crying.
My middle one is now playing music on his iTouch, oblivious to the nerves around him.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. You can do this. You can do this.
First days are tough, but it’s an adventure. We’re going to do it. It’s going to be okay.
I’m telling them over and over. I’m telling myself.
Yet, I feel like I’m going to throw up. Probably, just like they do.
Except for my middle one, he just asked me to make him macaroni and cheese.