Different schedules, as we shift from 8:30am start times to 7:00am bells. There is an hour and a half difference between the girls’ school starts, and so we test out two breakfast tables versus one. Our single batch of oatmeal looked tasty on the table at 6:30; F and I decided it wasn’t so great reheated at 7:15. So we’ll adjust.
Different schools, as I drop E off on the sidewalk and she files into the double doors with kids her size and twice her size. The line is backed up from the metal detector, and I watch her shift from one foot to the other to calm her nerves while she waits. I kind of hope she’ll look back and wave, but I know she won’t. She’s looking straight ahead and paying attention. We’re left behind, but we’ll adjust.
Different paths, as we go through her schedule and see the classes she signed up for without our input. We are so used to having a voice in the makeup of her day, her school, her teachers, her activities, her friends. We’ve worked so hard, and thought so hard, about each one of these decisions along the way. They aren’t necessarily the easiest ones, or the least expensive, or the most traditional, but they all share a common thread of being well considered. She will be taking responsibility for more and more of these decisions, and we will step back and support them and let her find her own way. It’s going to get tricky sometimes, but we’ll adjust.
We cleaned out her room last night, and sorted the papers and projects of her past school adventures – tucking a few things away into bins for safekeeping, recycling the rest. Even after she was fast asleep I kept returning to her room, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at her clean desk. Trying to imagine what she’ll do at that desk this year, and the seven years to come. Trying to imagine what she’ll do outside of this space, outside the comfort and protection of this little corner of the attic we’ve carved out for her. Wondering what stories of her own she’ll write.
I’ve been writing stories here for ages and ages, but the girls are writing more and more of them on their own now. It’s a little bittersweet, but mostly sweet these days.
I’m used to holding the pen, but I’ll adjust.