First Day 2013 (Round 1)

I carried her into bed the night before school started after she fell asleep in our bed.  Her lanky legs wrapped around me and dangled, but somehow her head fit snugly into the spot on my shoulder where little faces snuggle and, for the first time in what feels like forever, I flashed back to the days when her whole body fit comfortably in my arms. The flood of memories of her so little were a bit jarring.  It took me not to the time when she was so tiny, but more when she got a little bigger, maybe 1.5 or 2, when she had started walking and running and finally big enough to seek and ask for snuggles.  They're her love language and it's changed over time, but having her sleepy head right in the spot between my collarbone and neck while I inhaled her hair made the tears sting my eyes.  Every time it happens, I think that I want to sit there forever because it just might be the last time I hold her like that.  

I've come to accept that our family's First Day of School Pictures are likely never going to be happy, excited, smiley kids.  Maybe one if I catch them laughing together, but on the whole that's just not how they feel before school.  We're a family who love to be at home and who don't crave excitement, so it's fair enough that starting a new class and a new school year and all of that change that come with it sets my kids, especially one of them, into a tailspin that lasts for at least a few weeks.  The morning was complete with a meltdown over the dress she was wearing and her internal struggle because she wanted to wear it because it's so super soft and comfy, but the sleeves are ruffles and they're SO EMBARRASSING.  In the end, she changed. She came home exhausted and wandered around in a daze the whole evening, unable to figure out where to even begin to process it all. But she had a good day.  He goes back next week and I can barely contain my own excitement at the thought of preschool drop offs and pickups with only one kid in tow AND three mornings a week to actually get work done!

Sometimes I look at these photos and wonder what she'll think later (and this isn't even the grumpiest of them.)  When I capture on camera those glimpses of fear and trepidation, I wonder if it's unfair of me.  But I don't want them to look back on their lives and see only smiles and happiness as my own edit of what I want them to remember.  I want them to see that they approached things how they needed to, not the way I wanted them to, and that it always turned out just fine.  That they were nervous and scared and that they weren't alone, everyone feels some of that.   I think it matters that kids have fears and worries and that they're acknowledged, but that we still have to do things that are uncomfortable sometimes and the only way to overcome those fears is to walk straight through them.  And I want them to know that they DID do that.  There are still bits of goodness in it all and that's where we draw from and need to look.  That little fox lunchbox that she surprised me by picking and loving, the braids that she was so particular about choosing because some of her bangs are growing out and she didn't want them in her face, the sneakers that she wants to wear non-stop.  That's the good stuff and it's all there, too.  

1 comment

  1. Oh my word. Such a darling post about your sweet baby girl. I hope she loves school. I hope she finds excitement and wonder every day of the school year.
    Time flies. Before you know it, June will be here and school will be done.


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