She started senior kindergarten today. She is returning to the same classroom with the same teacher as last year, and we could not be more thrilled. We walked to school together, just the two of us, and it felt very special. She is filled with pride about being one of the big kids in the class (last year she was one of the little kids; it’s a split class). All three children are in split classes this year, and all of them get to be the big kids in their classrooms, and I’m pleased with the potential for them in that equation: being more experienced, perhaps given more responsibility, and a sense of mentorship. (I don’t know whether that’s pie-in-the-sky fantasizing on my part, but it seems like a possibility).
One new thing for Fooey this year will be riding the bus. She starts that new routine on Monday, and every time a bus goes by our window, she gets very excited: could that be her school bus? The ride will take about six minutes, but will save me approximately forty. I will still pick them all up after school, on foot.
Speaking of on foot, I must report that my trail run last night was so fun! I did not sign up thinking it would be fun, so it was an unexpected surprise and a gift to feel such joy as I ran along the beautiful trail at twilight feeling confident and strong within my body. As I was falling off to sleep last night, I thought of how much I’ve changed in the past year–and how that has changed how our family operates, too. The change has everything to do with being post-pregnancy-and-infant-parenting. Here I thought it would be a time of mourning, of missing those joys that I experienced so fully and keenly: nursing my babies, pregnancy itself, the lull and focus of caring for small children. And while I may feel a twinge every now and again, what’s come of this after-time has been a bubbling of energy and creativity, with a very strong focus on achieving specific goals. I had no idea this was waiting for me on the other side. I just would never have guessed. It was hard, at first, to claim time for myself again, to stake it out and to remind my family that I could take time away from them to pursue my own interests. But we’ve adjusted. And the changes have been so worthwhile. Kevin spends more time with the children. The children themselves are more independent. I don’t feel guilty, and I don’t sense resentment from my family. We’re all moving into this new phase gently and naturally, staying flexible, tinkering with what’s working and what’s not. And my kids get to cheer on their mom as she runs toward the finish line. (And I get to hear them cheering).