Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School - 2014

I dropped off al the kids at school this morning.

A 9th grader, an 8th grader, a 6th grader and two 4th graders.

Seems like just yesterday they looked like this:
Ashton starting 1st grade, Isaac starting Kindergarten

Eliza starting Kindergarten, Ashton 3rd, Isaac 2nd

Oliver and Silas starting Kindergarten, Ashton in 5th, Isaac 4th, Eliza 2nd
And now we're here:
Eliza in 6th, Isaac in 8th, Ollie and Si in 4th, Ashton in 9th
I'm sort of crying a little bit as I look at these old photos and write this. The first day of school each year is such a mixture of emotions for me.

I love the prospect of having a more predictable schedule and being able to have some uninterrupted time each day when I can get my Power of Moms work done. I'm excited to have the house stay a little cleaner and be able to get errands done more quickly without bringing any kids with me. And I love seeing the kids' joyful anticipation as they see friends again and look forward to new classes and teachers.

But I really like my kids. I like having them around. I love having a relaxed schedule. I love not being so tied down. I love staying up later and getting up later and not having to be worried about bedtimes so much. I love going on field trips together and listening to books on tape together and taking individual kids off on little "dates" and getting things done in a less pressured and systematic way.

And I miss my babies. I wish I could go back and snuggle their squishy little bodies for a minute here and there or hear their baby voices calling me "mama." I wish I could go back and read them a favorite story again, little people overflowing off my lap, wiggling until the story fully caught their attention and made them still. I wish I could see the look of delight again on their little faces when I'd go to get them up after a nap - they'd be jumping up and down, holding onto the crib rail.

I also miss my preschoolers. I miss taking Oliver and Silas and Eliza on our regular trips to Costco, the one place that had carts with two seat-belted seats so I could shop with the twins neatly contained and Eliza, the one child who'd ever contently stay by my side, dutifully holding onto the side of shopping cart. It was our little tradition to get here - the twins sharing a hotdog all cut up and fed to them bite by bite by me and Eliza who shared a chicken bake. I miss teaching Joy School to each of my kids and their little friends and seeing their faces light up as they learned new things while also seeing

I miss my little school-age kids. I miss walking into their classrooms to volunteer and seeing their eyes light up and having them pop out of their seats to give me a hug. I miss walking through the school halls and having most every little kid smile at me and say hi since I was in the school a lot volunteering in all my kids' classrooms. I miss being the all-knowing mom who was a great homework helper and had a solution to every issue that came up in their lives (now I have to have them wait for their dad to get home when they need help with math and somehow, my older kids no longer think I know all that much about all that many things!)

But I love these beautiful, strong, confident people that my children are becoming. And I love that we all have our own separate lives as well as the family life we share. I love hearing about their joys and worries. I love helping them figure out what they want and what they need. I love that Ashton helps me figure out my phone and my computer so adeptly. I love that Isaac makes me laugh and helps me keep things in perspective with his easy-going nature. I love that Eliza wants to talk to me about everything. I love that Oliver and Silas still give me tons of hugs and think I'm all-knowing and tell me that I'm the best mom ever so often (especially on days when they can tell that I'm struggling to be a decent mom!). It's such a privilege to be their mother and to watch them grow and develop and come into their own more and more each year.

So there it is. The first day of school. With all its mixed emotions and memories and excitement.

And here are a few snapshots as I dropped kids off at school this morning:

Ashton with his guitar - he's taking guitar this year. He's so grown up it's killing me! I got him to give me hug and it's so weird that he's taller and bigger than me now.

Eliza just got new glasses - took ages for her to pick just the frames she wanted but she finally found just the thing. She had an idea for a perfect first-day-of-school hair style and wanted my help but I guess I wasn't quite getting the same vision she had so things were a bit rocky there - but we figured out something that would work OK and she put a smile on her face and looked just lovely! (and she just lost a tooth yesterday - a baby tooth that had been hanging in there for far too long . . .)

Oliver and Silas will have different teachers and classrooms for the first time this year. We thought it would be a good idea to try this out and they were all for it. It'll be interesting to see how it goes! They have lots of friends other than each other and usually sit at different tables and play with different kids at school so I don't think it'll be too much of an adjustment. Their main concern was simply whether one or the other of them would have a better teacher. But both teachers seem great and they smiled big as I dropped them off at their classroom doors (which they were glad to see were right next door to each other). I was glad they wanted me to walk them in. It's nice to still be needed.

Here's Oliver:

And here's Silas:

I think they'll be just fine.

Somehow I didn't get a photo of Isaac. But he did consent to giving me a nice big hug in the parking lot. I don't think Ashton would have gone for that. So luckily for him, Jared took him to school early for his first day of Seminary so he got to have his hug from me here at home before he took off.

OK, I'd better get some work done before it's time to pick the kids up and hear all about their first day of school!


Becky said...

I love reading this as my kids are 8, 6, 4, 2, and newborn. It's so fun to read your perspective after my kids are all in bed and then enjoy it even more the next day. :) Thanks!!

anna said...

Okay, I that locker picture looks like an ad for back to school clothes or something. That girl's expression looking back at your son is priceless!

Eyrealm said...

Such a great post. Thanks for sharing your feelings and for sharing these great kids! They are truly wonderful!

Allison said...

all your kids are adorable, but ashton is looking especially handsome and grown up! i love listening to your stories and experiences on the podcasts and reading your blog. my kids are 1 month and 2 years, so i'm just starting out.


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