New Season

The first day of school.  Forms have been completed.  More forms have been signed.  Folders, pens, pencils, graph paper, binders of varying sizes and comp books all have been bought.  Let's not forget the art supplies that might as well be for a college art class because I have no idea.  Yes, that's been done.  No, we don't have our new uniforms because for the first time in eleven years of doing this I wasn't ready.  Not even close to being on top of my game.  Nope.  And last night at dinner when I apologized for that Thing 2 promptly said, "well that's OK at least we're going to the first day of school".  Yes child.  At least you will be present on the first day, because we know there have been many years where you haven't been.  Mostly due to trips and this Mama wanting to squeeze as much summer out of the year as humanly possible.  Priorities people.  Don't judge. 
As the last few hours of my favorite season slipped through our fingers yesterday I couldn't help but reminisce.  These Things are now a junior, sophomore, 8th grader and 6th grader.  Gone are the days of elementary school and classroom parties.  Here are the tenuous hours of homework, essays and standardized tests.  Welcome and goodbye.  Because of all this I feel compelled to post some photos from first days of school long ago. 
I'm guessing, Preschool for Thing 4, which means kindergarten for Thing 3, 2nd grade for Thing 2 and 3rd grade for Thing 1

Um, kindergarten for the eldest, be still my heart, and just look at that hair, love

First day of preschool in Tennessee for Thing 4, this was a hard transition and we said hello to so many firsts this year

These Things are all sass, not much has changed.  Thing 1 in 4th grade, Thing 2 in 3rd grade and Thing 3 in 1st grade...first day of school in Tennessee for them

The not so excited faces when we learned we were accepted into a new school the day before school started, bringing our summer to an abrupt three week early close, not so fun!  In the end they loved the school, their teachers and the friends they made along the way.  Thing 1, 7th grade, Thing 2, 6th grade, Thing 3, 4th grade and Thing 4, 2nd grade.

  I do believe that Thing 4 was off to day care for the first time here, other than that the girl Things were at the same school and grades as the first picture.  This was a challenging day for Mama and that year he was at daycare was a difficult one for us all. 

Just yesterday...
Thing 4, 6th grade, Thing 3, 8th grade, Thing 2, sophomore and Thing 1 a junior
With all that, I can now write about the first day of school since it has come and gone.  Uneventfully I might add.  Thing 4 had no issues opening his locker.  Thing 3 made a decision about her music class that she had been struggling with.  Thing 2 made the new students feel welcome.  Thing 1 confidently began her junior year. 
And here we are. Another school morning and I'm sitting at the desk writing in silence.  With my coffee next to me.  Covered in prayer.  The first day of school over and done.  Family dinner and celebratory dessert inhaled.  Paella and dark chocolate sea salt toffee with vanilla ice cream( so as not to break tradition) for those of you that were wondering.  We had our first family meeting of the school year last night too.  Friends, we were at the table for over an hour and a half.  Pure bliss.  At one moment during our meal, as the Things were sharing their highs and lows, I looked around and my heart smiled.  I mean I felt it from the inside out.  Is there anything better than that?  I don't think so.  Everyone was talking, inviting us into their day, their experiences, their feelings.  Laughter, lots of laughter.  Thing 4 played his new clarinet for us.  There was, though, a hint of frustration on Husband Jared's part.  And no, it wasn't from the clarinet playing.  Our Things are loud and then they're competitive too.  Sometimes during our family conversations they try to out do each other, talk over one another and it makes him batty.  I don't blame him.  Last night though when it all became too much he just hung his head.  I like to think he was praying for us all.  That we would learn to become better listeners.  Maybe have a little patience and not interrupt.  Yes, that is surely what he was doing.  Right?  When I realized what was happening I made eye contact with all the Things and they instantly hushed themselves causing Husband Jared to look up and then the table roared with laughter.  Highlight of the evening. 
Yes this new season is bittersweet, but we're having fun.  Taking it all in and hopefully giving more away.  Cheers to another school year begun and all the promise that the days ahead hold. 

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