The First Week of School

Our kids have been in school for several days now. 

During the day it has been blissfully quiet in the house, and strangely empty, too. I wring my hands a little and my stomach ties itself in knots, but then I breathe and remember they will do great. I have reorganized and labeled precisely 4,000 objects in our basement, done hours of yoga, and baked a grain-free raspberry tart, homemade fruit leather, and fruit gummies. My Chihuahua is also confused by all the attention he is getting now.

Here is the rundown:

Mornings and evenings are spent talking, checking lists, and packing bags. 

My fifth-grader said some of the girls in her class “looked 14 and wore high heels!” She has made friends with several girls and boys and has already asked to join a club. It took exactly 4 days for a group of girls to call Josie “a Baby” and give her a mocking hug while laughing in her face.  I realized that she has forged a beautiful armor of lightness because the way she described it - she just tilted her head and looked at those girls in the face with no anger.  She read their group dynamics and dismissed them.

My third-grader has gotten lost 3 times, forgotten a PIN number, a workbook, and his snack, and learned about the moon. He has realized that his highly intellectual mind struggles with ordinary daily tasks.  He is mostly even on the surface and loves that he finds his homework easy, but he has erupted a few times.  I nearly lost my composure when Josie told me about the end of their first day.  All the kids met in the gym to find their siblings at dismissal time.  When Charlie spotted her, he shouted, “Josie!” and ran and hugged her tight.

My first-grader has recorded his teacher’s outfit in minute detail each day and describes it to me first thing when he gets home.  He delights in his classmates’ names. He says them over and over.  He dumps out his backpack and waves all his papers in my face, re-enacts several events from his school day, playing the parts of every person with intense drama and precise body language.  Then he reminds me that he is still really mad at me and his daddy for making him go to school.  He says, “I have to be there for an HOUR!”

Nights are spent revealing new fears and confessing that they aren’t sure they can do this. 

My prayer is that my children’s hearts are protected in the face of challenges -- that they accept themselves and others, and that they forge stronger love and confidence.

To my surprise, I figured out that our goal as a family is the same whether we are homeschooling or not:

Grow your light. 

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