Friday, August 19, 2011

Little Lunch Bag

This is Little Bit's new lunch box. She didn't really need a new backpack, so I let her pick out a new lunch box...or bag, in this case. She was drawn to the cute little owls immediately. You see, penguins are her favorite animals in the world, but in the absence of them, she is drawn to other birds, esp. owls, which is probably partly my doing, as they are my favorite.

But this entry isn't really about the lunch bag, but more of my feelings as her first day of the next school year looms just around the corner, something this little bag brings to mind as I look at it. Everywhere I go, I hear people talk about how they cannot wait for school to start, that the kids are driving them crazy, and they want to get back to some semblance of normalcy, and get those kids out of the house for a while!

I am not one of those people.

I hate when she has to go back to school. I get giddy over holidays and three day weekends. I love half days, when she comes home early. And more than once have I seriously considered the benefits of home schooling...

Except for one tiny detail. She LOVES school. Loves it the way I did when I was little, loves to learn, loves to explore, loves playing with her friends, and ADORES reading of any kind. (Something this school pushes more than any school I've ever seen in the past...they devote more time to that during the day than all of the other subjects combined.) And so, I smile for her, and tell her I am happy she likes school, that I will miss her, but I am happy for her. And she smiles and hugs me, and tells me she will miss me, too, but she can tell me all about her day when she gets home.

Her first day last year, I cleaned the whole house for being at a loss of what to do with myself. Granted, I got used to it, of course, as we all must, but still... I dread that first day, even as she counts down the days.

We went to orientation, and MY stomach was all in a knot, nearly sick, as I walked into this new, foreign classroom and sat at her little desk to fill out rediculous amounts of paperwork. She went off to explore the room with her brothers, their daddy on their heels to make sure the boys didn't tear the room to pieces. And I sat there and filled out form after form, wondering what this teacher would be like. Would she be kind? Sweet? Or rediculously strict and uncaring. I don't really think the latter. She seemed nice enough, if not a bit rattled by all the parents and kids piling into her room. (It was quite crowded.) Though one or two sentences isn't enough to really know a person or how she will conduct her classroom.

Although, I don't worry of Little Bit's reaction to starting a new year in a classroom with none of her old friends from last year... No, not her. She's the most un-shy person you can imagine. (She makes friends with people in lines at stores...) So bubbly and happy and friendly and smart as a whip, too. She is nice to everyone, says that her whole class are her friends, and that makes me happy, that she will not be the one to judge a person by the color of their hair or style of clothing. If she gets into trouble, it will probably be for talking with a new friend or running because she's so excited, she can't stand it. She wants to explore the world, to learn it all, to see everything. But it's hard for a mother...who has to hear about it later over supper, who used to get to experience everything with her. But I can't go...

And so I can only pack her little lunch bag with a few of her favorite things and hope it brings a smile to her face to know Mama is thinking of her.

And next year, it's the boys' turn. sigh... I think I need a cookie...

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