Last week, school started for the kids and I. Tuesday and Wednesday were a trial run for the mornings, learning how to get my boys and I out the door on time. These days were an opportunity for me to really get an idea of how long my commute will be dropping the kids off at two schools and getting myself to class on time.
Thursday was Angel's first day. Thankfully my Thursday class starts a bit later, as it was a difficult start to the day. There were a lot of tears, hers at the school and a few of my own as I drove to my class. I sat through my Sociology class and tried hard to stay focused. I'm also grateful that the beginning of the year is not too intense. Yet. I arrived at the Kindergarten classroom a few minutes early to be sure I was in the right place (Angel gave me specific instructions) when she came out of class.
My little girl was so red faced and puffy, it broke my heart. The teacher informed me that the crying did not stop, it would ease up now and then, but essentially, she cried the WHOLE MORNING. That is not what a mommy wants to hear, ever.
Chatting with the Angel afterwards, she said she had fun. She told me all about what they did in class and she seemed pretty happy with it. She also said she was happy to go back again Friday.
Friday morning was the same as Thursday. Lots of tears and clingy hugs. I hated to let her go. But I gave her my biggest hugs and lots of kisses and reminded her that I would be back, waiting right where she told me to wait at 11:30. And I ran out the door as soon as I had said goodbye.
I was late for my Psyc class and even more distracted than the day before, since I knew how hard Thursday had been. I prayed my way through my English class, willing the minutes to move faster so I could go and check on my little one. Friday, she came out of the classroom with a smile. She still had cried quite a lot, but eventually she found something she liked to do and that occupied her until the day was over.
I'm spending as much time as I can trying to reinforce the sense of security in her. Seems like I've been reassuring my children all summer. I want to show her that home will not change just because she leaves in the morning now. I am reminding her that I will still read with her, even if her teacher reads to her that day. I will still play with her even if she finds new friends at school. Home is still HERS.
Art has been amazing. He has really stepped up as a big brother and he is helping her so much. Both days, he was able to go into her classroom (at the teacher's request) to remind Angel that she is not alone in the school and help her find things she likes about Kindergarten. He's waited for her at recess and given up much of his morning free time to make sure she is having fun. She drives him insane most of the time at home, but he sure adores her and is looking out for her. I have never been so proud of that boy!
Macboy is adjusting well to grade eight. I think it bothers him that, like me, he is not in the same place as the Angel. I get an email or two everyday from him asking for an update. How was today, Mom? Did Angel like school? Coming from my boy that can't stand school and never has enjoyed it, this is quite nice. Everyone wants Angel to be happy.
For me, University is a big adjustment, even without my own kids to worry about. I'm surrounded by people closer to Macboy's age than mine. My Professors have been wonderful, especially my Psyc prof, who was very kind when I warned her that I might be late for a few classes while we adjust to Kindergarten. Turns out, her little one started Kindergarten too. At least there is someone my age.
The cool thing about University that I've noticed so far, is that no one cares. I've introduced myself to those who sit near me and in that precise moment, there is no age. We are all just students in a class that we have all chosen to take. In the classroom, I am not 35, I am simply a student. And being in a much different age category is definitely going to spare me from some college kid drama that I don't want anyway.
I will have to learn to juggle a lot of things. Homework and children, laundry and essays. Dinner and dishes with reading a textbook. The Trucker has to learn a bit about how to help me too. So far, not much has changed in terms of help around the house. The kids are helping out more at least, so I'm not trying to struggle through completely alone.
Friday night, my wonderful sister came by to hang out with my kids. She played with them all evening. I was able to cook dinner and clean it up and get some homework done. I was even able to relax and catch up on a couple TV shows while the Trucker was working his Friday night gig. She is awesome.
Saturday was laundry and cleaning, with a few errands to run because I am still missing a few things for the four of us in school. Today, I will focus on my family. I need some real down-time before another busy week starts.