Monday, August 23, 2010

First day back

"Are you nervous coming back?" my friend asked, as we left our fifth grade boys in their classroom and walked down the stairs. We dodged camera-laden parents through the tiled hallway as we talked.
I looked back at her in surprise.
"Goodness, no!" I laughed. "We're all excited!"
 Of all the emotions I'd felt this past weekend and this morning, nervous just wasn't anywhere in the mix. Not for any of us.

Both Bran and Hud sprang out of bed this morning, jumped straight into their clothes and stood by the laundry room door with backpacks slung over their shoulders, binders and lunch bags in hand, wondering what in the world was taking the rest of us so long. Once at school, they couldn't get to their rooms fast enough - excited to see friends and teachers and be back in the middle of things.

We walked Basden into her 1st grade classroom, and while I greeted a couple of parents and positioned myself to snap a picture, Corbin introduced her to her new teacher.  Chin down, she raised her eyes shyly and grinned at Mrs. Feldman, who had bent down to Basden's eye level. I heard a nervous giggle emerge from my sweet girl, a giggle that sounded giddy and timid and excited. It was unfamiliar for me to see her nervous - yet endearing, because I knew the anticipation shrouding it.
We snapped a couple of pictures, walked Basden to her locker and desk, both adorned with her name, gave hugs and walked out of the room dry-eyed. But before I could get out of the door, Basden grabbed my shirt and whispered, "Mommy! Where are my pencils?"
"Right there in your desk, sweetie."
She turned and looked at her desk, pinpointed the blue supply box tucked in the shelf, and raced back to her seat to start on her picture.

It was fun peeking in the boys' rooms and seeing familiar faces, glancing through the organized and clean rooms, and calculating all the hours their teachers have already spent planning and preparing and setting up their rooms.
It was fun walking up the steps of a familiar school with familiar friends - many of whom we know from high school, college, church, and simply living in this neighborhood for fourteen years.
And it was fun leaving the boys in good hands of the teachers and staff, all of us looking forward to a new year.

I cannot underscore the GIFT of our last year, teaching the kids at home.
It was refreshing and relaxed, and a year I will always treasure. And who knows, a year we may repeat again at some point?!
But today felt like going home.
It felt like going back to a place where we belonged and where our kiddos will thrive.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of a great school AND a contented heart. Thank you for sweet friends and dedicated teachers. And thank you for children I'm even more in love with after our last year - so thankful for Your provision and guidance!