August 28, 2010

First Days

My kids started school this week. One kid at a time. Which means we had three - yes, that's THREE - first days of school. Three days where mom woke up at the crack of dawn and lovingly prepared a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes with bananas and sausage. Three days of snapping pictures and stuffing backpacks to the gills with school supplies. Three days of nerves and joy and the general angst that comes from changing your whole schedule around from one day to the next.

And the next.

And the next.

Monday was my diva's first day of third grade. It was also the day my new Kindergartner went in to meet his new teacher and see his new classroom. The ex came too, which tickled the kids pinker than my daughter's hot pink polka-dotted leggings. The whole group of us walked to school together.

She had a great day.

I, apparently, did not. I walked right past all the "here's what to do for the first day" papers in the Kindergarten classroom. All of them. Which was a problem.

But not till Wednesday.

Tuesday was all about my Aspie. He's in 7th grade. And that scares me. Because I remember 7th grade. I remember getting thrown up on by the girl on the riser behind me in the spring chorus concert. I remember roller skating and school dances and "going with" a cute, slightly geeky, very tall boy named Jeremy for about a week. I think I dumped him, but it's hard to say because I also can't remember having an actual conversation with the guy. It was all about the intermediaries in 7th grade.

(Note: cute, geeky and tall remains my type to this day. )

So, heck yeah, 7th grade scares me. Puberty and tweendom and all that. But what I'm not scared about this year, for the first time since my Aspie hit Kindergarten, is school. School is good. School is great. My Aspie is in a place where he is cared for and supported and loved. Where he's learning and active and making friends. The transition from summer is still rough, and he's been a bit of a tired, tantrummy mess most days this week. But he'll adjust. And that's the minor miracle. He will adjust.

And then came Wednesday. The day I sent my baby off to Kindergarten with his new red backpack and his name tag, and no stuffed animal for show and tell. Because I totally missed the paper.


He was fine with it, though, when I told him. He's that kind of kid.

I stood back and watched him, standing in line in front of his new teacher, waiting for the kids from the last bus to arrive. He was pensive and nervous and looked so very young. And then, just before the teacher led her line of students off into the bowels of the school, he turned to me, shot me an impish grin ... and stuck his tongue out at me.

I burst into tears.

How did my kids get so grown up?

Damn. I think I blinked again.

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