This morning on the way to school Jessica started talking about yawning.
Did you know that some people think it’s impossible to keep your eyes open if you yawn at the same time as someone else?? (Pause) But I’ve done it before! When me and dad yawn at the same time, he closed his eyes but I kept mine open. (Shows us) Like this.
Yeah, I used to have a rule for myself. Just for me, when I was six, that after I yawned for the first time at night I’d close my eyes and go to sleep. I always pictured balloons floating.
Then I dropped her off at school. And I already miss her.
Monday was their first day of all-day everyday school. Jessica’s not so new to this and was incredibly excited to get back to school and see her friends. She was nervous, but the kind of nervous that makes you want to look a little longer, to stay a little while more, to watch and see what unfolds.
This was Oliver’s first “big school” experience. Packed lunches, new shoes, high socks. A locker.
He was nervous in the way that you know you’re supposed to keep watching but you don’t know what you’re looking at.
I was nervous in the way that I know what happens next and the net’s always been there to catch me, but what if it’s gone this time?
These are my little people, as it looks from where we sit – the only little people we get. They’re everything that’s hard in my life, but everything that’s better than I ever imagined it could ever be, too.
It was a flurry of action Monday morning. New desks to remember, lots of rules and halls and words and people. Reminders of who and how they’re getting home, when I’ll be there: Don’t forget – Mom will pick you up. Bring your water bottle home, those books stay here. Those are inside shoes, not outside shoes. You’ll need this for your snack. Give these to your teacher, don’t forget.
We gave them all these words to hold onto, just incase they needed to search for words of their own and didn’t have any – they could borrow ours. Extra hugs at goodbye, one more kiss. No one was embarrassed to be seen with us, and we weren’t embarrassed to shout a little louder “Have fun!” “Be safe!” “Be a leader!” “You’ll do great!!”.
Then it was time to stand back and watch them fly.
They didn’t just fly … they took off.
As anchors of the sling shot in parenting, Aaron and I let go of their hands and they catapulted into their new surroundings. So many things to see and experience. We watched for a few minutes while I started to cry and Aaron, knowing full well this was coming, just held me with both arms – the arms that minutes before we’re flanking a safety net around our children were now wrapped around me.
It was good, so good. I don’t know what I was afraid of, myself maybe? But it’s right and it fits and it’s full of opportunity. We’re so excited for where they are, where we are. We get to do this with them and it couldn’t have felt more savory on Monday.
We both picked them up, I was anxious. They couldn’t get in the car fast enough. I also couldn’t get out fast enough to greet them. HI! MY LITTLE TRIBE OF PEOPLE! YOU CAME BACK TO ME!!!
Give me all the words, tell me everything! What happened? How was it? Did you eat enough? Are you tired? Did you make friends? WORDS WORDS WORDSWORDSWORDSWORDSWORDS. Exhausted they said it went good. (Of course it did!) And when we got home we did the First Day DASH!
So that while we could continue catapulting them out of our safety net, they could always come back home.
And it would be a celebration each and every time.