“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Haven’t mustered up energy enough, or brain space, lately to write or share much on my usual dalliances of food, fashion, and home. Really focused on enjoying the last days of summer and then on getting our oldest daughter off to her first day of kindergarten last week.
In 12 words or less, what it was like seeing our baby age five get on her bus and then gleefully get off of it, giant back pack in tow: surreal, moving, triumphant, amazing, beautiful, gratifying, and a little nerve-wracking.
The loss of control I felt was actually jarring to me. I’m not a terribly emotional person, so I didn’t turn on the waterworks, but rather felt this crazy rush of emotion that kind of made me like an overloaded circuit breaker – shut down! It is too true what they say about time going alternately too fast or too slow with very young children… I felt like we were so ready for this day, but then it came way too quickly. It seems she was just a little baby, but then how did she grow into this little person?
I left the school after watching her come off the bus to trot into school alongside her new classmates and I felt like I’d been gut-punched, but then alternately full of pride and excitement for my daughter. This sweet, tender-hearted, reserved little girl who was so ready to dive into school, but was also tentative about the new kids and the need to start new friendships. The entire week leading up to the big day, as well as the past few days after, I’ve had a hard time settling down to sleep and have found myself unusually distracted, tense, and emotionally exhausted by the end of each day.
You’d think it would help that my daughter seems to have made a great transition. She comes home every day with tales of fun new experiences (hot lunch line! Visiting the school library!), new kids she’s getting to know, and is eager to go back the next day. She seems to have licked some of her anxiety while I’m having a harder time getting over it. After grilling her each day about her school day she has finally collapsed on the couch asking, “Mom! Why do you ask SO many questions?!” HA! I finally managed to talk out my little girl.
Regardless if your kids are starting preschool, kindergarten, or college, I think many parents feel the start of a new school year is a sentimental and reflective time… thinking about our little ones and how far they’ve come and yet how much untraveled road still lays ahead of them. If you’re in that mode, you might try these songs out as great soundtracks to this time of year:
From The White Stripes first, and then Jay-Z.