The much-anticipated school year arrived today. The fog was so thick when Nathan and I awoke early you couldn’t see across our yard. The thick fog reminded me of when a younger Elizabeth would awake on foggy mornings and say “It is sooo blurry outside!” That’s been our summer, a little blurry and foggy. I am ready for the school year and for a new chapter.
As the sunrise broke through the girls were slowly waking and I stopped.
I quietly hummed and then sang Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) chorus and the first verse.
It’s a new day dawning, It’s time to sing Your song again, Whatever may pass, And whatever lies before me, Let me be singing, When the evening comes.
It is a new day dawning. For the next nine months, all three of our kids are enrolled full-time in the one school in our small town, kindergarten through 12th grade. Today we ate Baked Oatmeal (new recipe I tried from Taste of Home) and bacon together before school, except Nathan who goes to work before 7am. He met us at the school though to see the kids off.
The morning was chillier than most first days of school we’ve had. Anika was wound up and ate about half a piece of bacon. She will be a good school lunch eater, hopefully. Elizabeth fretted about her outfit and what to wear but is more confident going to school this year as a second-grader. She took Anika’s hand and another kindergartener friend’s hand on the playground and led them around as Nathan and I left the school. Hunter, as a senior announced he only needed pencils, paper and a few three-ring binders for school. He’s easy to please. Next year he will be at college and the first day of school picture will change. We already know the pictures change with each year. Hunter and I laughed last night when we found his first day of seventh grade photo. Elizabeth was two and a half years old and Anika, freshly age one.
We also talked about his first day of kindergarten at Park Christian School in Fargo and his first day of fourth grade in Wishek, before Elizabeth or Anika were born. My voice cracked. My eyes welled up with tears. Hunter looked at me and gave me a moment. I wasn’t crying for him or us, but for the changes and loss that come, that you cannot see ahead of time. We have friends that will not see their sons start school this year. Another good friend’s son would have been 18 years old today, a classmate Hunter never met. I cannot imagine their pain but I know their examples in living for today have given me strength.
It has all taught me to celebrate in the day, each and every one we have together.
A teacher friend said to me when Nathan and I were walking out of school, “Is it a weird feeling for you to be going home to an empty house?” Right after I blubbered out my answer of “Yes, no kids at home, not even one to go to Lori’s daycare…” Nathan replied, “But she has dogs at home, waiting for her.” I think it was his signal for me to not cry and keep going on with the day.
So here we are. The kids are in school. Puppies are at home, who still need walking. A house we have lived in for over seven years that needs a good cleaning out. Weekly writing assignments wait for me and a few communications consulting clients with work I can do from home will fill my days. I have cleaned up my schedule to be home a most of the year with limited travel with my speaking and consulting work. A bonus of being home is once a week, the girls and I are babysitting a friend’s baby after school this fall. We start today!
Home is where I am supposed to be in this new school year. Home for my kids, their schedules, my husband, our family businesses and home to grow myself as a mom, wife and professional.