Ryan and I woke up at 6am, groaning, but I made us "hop" out of bed because that was the only way we weren't going to trudge through the morning like zombies. I went to wake up the boys. Logan was first, and he sleepily sat up, crawled into my lap, and snuggled me for a minute before I ushered him downstairs for breakfast. Ethan jumped up as soon as I touched his back, asked, "Is it morning?" and promptly hopped about chanting, "First day of school! First day of school!" before insisting he set his clothes out for the day and then running downstairs.
Logan chose his usual breakfast, cereal - today it was Cookie Crisp. Ethan turned to me and said, "Mommy, you pick out my breakfast this morning, I want to make sure it's a good breakfast for my first day of school!" We settled on oatmeal - Peaches & Cream. Ethan wolfed his down and bounded upstairs to put on his new clothes, Logan leisurely finished his cereal and then ran upstairs to join his brother.
They were both excited to don their new backpacks for pictures on the front step, grabbed their new lunch bags and hopped into the car, ready for anything today would bring.
Logan's dropoff was nothing particularly special, except for the extra effort the PTO had gone to, providing a "BooHoo, WooHoo" breakfast (which, personally, I feel made the transition a bit harder for some first time parents - get in, get out, that's the key....lingering makes things hard for you and your kiddo, but the thought is what counts and it was a nice gesture). Logan walked in with confidence, a gleam of subdued excitement in his eye, and I helped him remember where his seat was. He began to march over to put his backpack in his cubby - he knew what he needed to do, after all, he had prepared for this moment - only to be told they were all going to do that later. A minor setback in his plan, but no matter, he'd be ready tomorrow. Back at his seat, he allowed me a brief hug and kiss, promised to do his best, hugged Ryan, and sat down - looking around us at the board, because the morning news was starting and he wasn't going to miss a second of Kindergarten.
And off we went. No tears (though, admittedly, I felt them prickling at the corners of my eyes, and held them back). Other first-time Moms were handed packages of Kleenex by the thoughtful PTO as they left, weeping. I smiled at them, knowing how hard it is to watch your babies grow up. You're so proud of how far they've come, but you wish you'd had just a little more time to cherish those early years. Now they're at school, and their teachers are the ones who will see them through the majority of their days for the next nine months - shape their minds, comfort their woes, make them laugh, and then send them home to us to eat dinner, wrap up the day, and put them to bed so they're ready to do it all again tomorrow.
But the excitement on the boys' faces when I pick them up later, the squeal of their voices as they tell me all the wonderful things they did today, all the things they learned....that makes it all worth it.
It's going to be a great year.