Yesterday was the first day of school. There was much preparation for this momentous day. The usual shopping for school supplies. The torturous arguments in the fitting rooms over tween clothing. Lord have mercy are those outfits pushing it.
We shopped at Justice for the first time and my Hanna Andersson brain nearly exploded. I’m just not ready for sequins and feathers quite yet. Matter of fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for sequins and feathers.
But as it turns out, I’m getting soft in my middle age years. You see, I promised Shannon that I’d let her do something a little funky with her hair for this new school year. Entering middle school is a pretty big deal.
As I’ve shared before, she’s had confidence issues over the years and has also had issues with girls bullying her. If letting her funkify her hair gives her some extra confidence, I’m not going to stop her.
Something else interesting that has developed over the summer…
Shannon enrolled in a music program over the summer and as it turns out, she’s a kick butt drummer. I’m not sure where this talent came from, but dang is the girl good. So good that we are enrolling her in private lessons.
So, maybe my purple haired drummer girl will march to the beat of her own drum? That might not be such a bad thing.
BUT when your girls are ten months apart, you can’t do for one and not the other. So Leela is funkified too. This is my one child who needs no extra moxie.
So, I told her that the day her attitude matches her newly colored locks will be the day we go to the hairdresser and have the color chopped off. We’ll have to see how that goes. This little girl is a little too much like her mother. Heaven help us.
After we got the girls off to school, I did what I do best. I worried. I worried about Shannon starting middle school. I especially worried about her sitting alone at the lunch table in a brand new school. Just the thought of it makes me cry.
And then I worried about Leela. This is her first year alone in elementary school without her big sister. I was concerned that she would feel lost on the bus. That she would have a hard time in her new classroom and that she wouldn’t eat her lunch. The kid doesn’t each much. I’m not sure how she continues to grow considering how very little she eats.
And then I moved on to worrying about the boys. I never considered all of this worrying stuff when I was having babies. This is the stuff that people don’t tell you about before you have kids. Probably because they know it would scare you into not having them to begin with.
But whatever. Here they all are and I worry about them twenty-three hours out of any given day. The other hour I worry about myself.
I tried to keep my mind busy and prayed that things were going ok for my ducklings. And to keep myself sane, I got busy in the kitchen. One of the things I like to do for my kids is to have the house smelling wonderful when they come home from school.
I was a latch-key child and the child of a woman who did not bake. When we started our family, I was determined to create happy kitchen memories for my kids. And one of the most important memories I wanted to cultivate is the smell of fresh baked cookies in the air when they come home from school.
So Roxanne (my mixer) and I got busy making oversized M&M cookies which I popped into the oven exactly twenty minutes before the bus dropped the kids off. Cookies are much much better when the chocolate chips are hot and melty.
Sure enough, as soon as the bus ejected my children, the kids bounded into the house full of smiles and excitement over fresh baked giant M&M cookies. I win.
But most importantly, the kids all had excellent reports on their first day. By far Shannon’s story made me the happiest. She got on the bus on the way home and a little girl with blue tinged locks asked Shannon if she would share her seat with her.
If you have a child who was ever ostracized, you know how huge this is. My face nearly cracked in half, that’s how big my smile was. So much relief that she fit in somewhere. And as an added bonus, she sat at the lunch table with three new friends.
I feel like I hit the lottery. But this lottery is so much better than money. The acceptance lottery is priceless.
A very wonderful first day of school all around. One less thing for me to worry about…