It's back-to-school time which means that every social media newsfeed is full of first day of school photos, the heavy sticky air is replaced with a cool crispness, the bright green tree tops are transitioning to yellows and reds, and pumpkin-flavored everything can be found in every cafe.
Of course, our school started last week, when pretty much the only accurate part of that previous statement was the pumpkin-flavored everything. Somehow mother nature didn't get the autumn memo come September first and we reached temperatures in the nineties just in time for my kids to be in air-condition-free classrooms.
Today it actually does have a hint of autumn to the air, which makes me simultaneously happy (I love fall!) and depressed (I'm not ready for winter!).
This year I sent two kids off on the bus, and the only reason I didn't bawl was because of the huge smile Paige managed to have climbing onto the bus. Our first week was pretty jumbled and unexpected because of an unanticipated illness causing Hope to be sent home on her first day. (She gets to claim the "first child sent home sick from school" award from the school nurse.)
In any case, because of that she was not able to be on the bus with Paige for Paige's first day. Cue my mama heart almost exploding with terror and fear. But Paige handled it with more poise and maturity than I ever would have thought and asked (all my herself) the little girl at our bus stop if they could sit together. Thus, Paige's huge smile as the bus took her away, and my heart not completely splattered all over the pavement.
I can not believe that my two big girls are in school all day, and although I wish I could be one of those moms that claps her hands and does a back-to-school dance, I'm much more in the 'I miss my babies', holding-back-the-tears camp.
It does help me having Nora and home and we are s-l-o-w-l-y finding our own rythm to these week days. I'm not used to just having a little one at home so I feel like I should be able to get so much done (look at me cook and clean and clean and do stuff and and and), except that Nora's a little more needy than a five-year-old or a seven-year-old so my To Do list isn't getting crossed off quite as quickly as I was hoping.
For all of my complaining and whining and struggles though, I like it. I really do. I like that it has worked for our family for me to stay home. I like that I am available for sick-child-at-school-pick-up and middle of the day grocery runs and field trip volunteers. I like that I pack the lunches and see the big girls off on the bus each morning. I like that I was able to do Mommy and Me classes with each of my girls and have play dates and go to parks and wander aimlessly pushing a stroller around the mall in the middle of winter. I like that I can sit on the floor and play Little People with Nora as she climbs on my lap.
It will be good, this year, I know. I'm not quite plugging my fingers in my ears and running in the opposite direction of my kids growing up and school starting, but I'm not quite ready to fully embrace it yet either. This transition to back-to-school and homework and fall activities and changes in schedules is an adjustment, sometimes more so for me than for anyone else in my family. But it will be good. I know it will.
Now excuse me while I try to get myself in the spirit with some pumpkin muffins.