Today was the first day of school. Noah eagerly hopped on the bus this morning and headed off for his first day of third grade. Camille hesitantly attended Kindergarten Orientation today. She's not sure about this whole kindergarten thing. It is quite a contrast to Noah who couldn't wait to start and spent the summer prior to Kindergarten studying the calendar and begging to start sooner. Camille has been adamant in her protest that she will not be attending Kindergarten. I know that underneath those strong words is a tender knot of fear and worry.
Starting school gets built up to be such a big thing. Noah likes big things. He likes drama and excitement and new adventures.Camille is not built the same way. She's a bit more cautious, she needs time to warm up, and when she's ready, she's ready.School is a monumental milestone so I can understand why well intentioned friends and strangers keep beaming at her with a big smile and asking "Are you excited about school?". I am sure they are expecting that she will mirror their enthusiasm, like Noah did when he was five, but that isn't her response. I know that once she starts she will love it and she will embrace it with her spirited gusto, but for now we all just trying to help her ease into it. Attending the orientation this morning, a home visit from her teacher tomorrow, reading books about starting school, listing all of the friends who will be starting kindergarten with her, and savoring this final week at home with her.
I have been so focused on her anxiety about starting school, that it didn't really hit me until this morning that this is also a monumental transition for me, too. Starting next week, both of my children will be in school full time. I am not worried about filling up that time. I have a long and growing list of things I want and need to do during those school hours. But I have to admit that there is a bit of an emotional stew brewing in my gut. Change and transition does that. Watching the school buses pull up to their stops this morning not only marks the start of a new school year, but also a new stage of life.