august is the new september

06 Aug august is the new september

She was more excited than I was, this sweet girl of mine who, six months ago, wouldn’t even let me say the word “kindergarten.” She was never going. No one could force her to go. She would stay wrapped in the warm cocoon of her preschool class forever, and that would be that.

But then something shifted, and sometime around March she started sentences with “IF I go to Kindergarten…” and eventually that turned into “WHEN I go to Kindergarten…”

And suddenly (too soon if you ask me) WHEN became TODAY. Ours is one of the few states that begins school the first week of August (which means that teachers report back to work in July… What happened to Labor Day marking the end of summer?)

We packed her lunch together, picked out her clothes, filled up her water bottle and snapped silly photos, because it felt like the thing to do on the first day of school.

Miles is returning to the same preschool class that he and B shared last year. It’s part of the elementary school, so we can still walk together. 
I was holding it in nicely until we got to the drop-off spot outside the school. There were hundreds of kids in various lines, grouped by grades, and Bronwynn just looked so….small. I kissed her cheek and gave her a short, tight squeeze. Letting go was letting go of her for the next seven hours straight. I was fine, really, until Miles ran up and threw his arms around his sister and said “I miss you B!”
I thought about how this will be the longest they’ve been apart on a daily basis. Miles would have to go to school without his big sister, his protector by his side. For all B is gaining in new experiences and Miles is gaining in independence, it’s a loss too. The end of an era. 
So the tears flowed, and Kris & I headed to the place where all the other kindergarten parents were gathered…
I was fine by the time we walked home. B never shed a single tear. Her confidence amazes me. When she decides she’s ready for a new experience, she faces it head-on, without fear. She manages any anxiety by asking questions: “When will I eat? How will I know where to sit? Will I have recess?” She takes the answers and files them away. Bits of information she’ll use later.
Today, Day 2, the drop-off was much less ceremonious. For security purposes, parents were not allowed to accompany their kids inside the front gate. I watched her walk away in slow motion, her oversize backpack bobbing and swaying through the crowd, my little fish swimming in a big pond. 
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