Lunches packed, photos snapped, we march to school en masse. We meander through the chaos of school children and parents, attempting to find the proper line for each daughter. I study the parents and children that will comprise the classes for the coming year. While I don’t know another soul in the kindergarten group, many of the first grade students and parents I recognize as acquaintances and friends. The bell rings, and into the building the classes file, following their teachers’ enthusiastic faces. What remains outside on the school lawn is a mother and preschool-aged son unsure of what to do all day. We return home without the ringleaders of our usual at-home circus of three.
The hours pass slowly and quietly until it is time to return to the school grounds. I am eager to find out what transpired in their new classrooms. At the sound of the final bell, out stream the multi-hued flocks of children. Will I spy my kindergartner first, or will she spot me?
I hone in on her searching eyes. Our reunion begins as she races to clasp her arms around me. She’s both excited and worn out from her long day. She treasures her pink lunch box and already has a new friend (whose name she doesn’t yet remember). Next comes my first grader. Confidently she relays tidbits from the day, comparing and contrasting what happened with last year’s kindergarten memories.
We chatter all the way home as we walk. I marvel at how suddenly this day came upon me. No, I wasn’t quite ready to send them off again. But my daughters not only have their parents, they also have each other to help with the adjusting, growing, and learning to come these next nine months. The bonds that were strengthened this summer between parent and child, sister and sister, will continue to buoy them as their days at school unfold. And with ready arms and ears I will return to meet my girls each day, mindful of my crucial tasks--to listen, pray, love, and be a steadfast mother that helps each of my three children blossom.
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