It's almost time to walk and pick the "big" kids up from school; and it feels like a surprisingly short day, easily filled by F and baby CJ and me. Back to school means back to a schedule. Part of me relishes a schedule, and part resents it. But I think this year the schedule, with the long time between drop-off and pick-up (a little over six hours; whereas these past three years, with someone always in kindergarden, it was a little over two hours in the afternoon), will leave plenty of space for improvisation.
The whole family trotted up the hill together, at a quick-step because we'd started a touch late (sigh; not a promising start to the year), and when we got to the school, Kevin went with A to the second grade drop-off, and the rest of us went with AB to the gym. (We weren't late; the funny thing is that we rarely are. We always leave the house just a touch late and then have to hurry to be there when the bell rings; I guess another way to put it would be that we're always perfectly on time). I had no mixed emotions about sending the children this year. Last year it was difficult to imagine our first-born in school all day long, but this year, he was just excited to be meeting his friends and new teachers, and AB was just excited to be getting to work. AB looked awfully pale standing in her class line-up, but she didn't look back once (a couple of children turned around to shout "bye, Mom!"; not mine). I had no tears. I knew she was ready and I knew, also, that the experience would hold so many great daily adventures for her.
We shall see in about forty-five minutes when their first day is done.
What amazes me just now is that that day is already almost over! I felt (to be frank) positively elated when we left the schoolgrounds and I had only two children in my charge. Morning errands were easier; though there are always complications with extras in tow. The necessary diaper change outside the library. Followed by the necessary nurse, which was complicated by the one-handed necessary search through the stroller for a snack (F's), and, later on, the (un)necessary (minor) tantrum thrown by the three-year-old who is old enough to walk but prefers to ride--unless, of course, it would be convenient/safer to ride, and then she prefers to walk. Contrary-rary.
Now must wake baby CJ, who fell asleep on his own for this nap. Just like he did last night at bedtime. Kevin says we just need to train him to crawl upstairs and demand to be put into his crib, like A used to do as a baby! I'm still too superstitious to believe this is a repeatable pattern; but hope springs eternal.
And I just checked the clock and it looks like we're going to be just in time to be in a hurry for our walk back up the hill ....