I feel like today our life changed forever. Hazel started school. I've been a mother for 6 years. One, then two then three kids at home almost all the time. It's been exausting and frustrating and exilerating and exciting and I've learned so much. I'm happy and anxious and excited to move onto this next stage, but also a little nervous. I'm just barely getting this old one down and now I have to move onto school and schedules and having to be somewhere (with myself and my three kids all presentable) by 8am. I have to send my little Hazel out into the great world and let her fend for herself. I have to figure out what to do at home without Hazel's help (I have often wished over the past few weeks as I've realized how tremendously helpful Hazel is that I could send Emmeline to kindergarten instead). I have to figure out how to help Charlie enjoy life without a little coach and boss around all the time. Of course I realize that all of this will be good, but I just feel like we're on the threshold of a big new life. I woke up at the crack of dawn with a little nervous excitement brewing in my tummy....like how I felt when I first started college or a new job. It's a good feeling. It's the feeling you get when circumstances slap you with some new challenges and make you crawl out of your rut .
Enough about me and how I feel about all of this. On to Hazel. She was amazing today. I fell in love with her all over again. She got up (which is a big deal for her, she's our morning sleeper), did her morning routine (as we have been practicing for the past few weeks) and marched out the door on time. She has been looking forward to this day for weeks and weeks, actually, probably more like years and years. She was born to go to school.
Doesn't Emmeline look big too? What happened over night to my kids, they're suddenly all grown up!
A few weeks ago we had an orientation where she met a little girl who is going to be in her class. This sweet little girl, Kaya, took Hazel by the hand right away and said, "we're going to be BEST friends!"
Hazel has been a different little girl since then....bragging to Charlie that now she has a best friend that she gets to see everyday like he gets to see his best buddy Saul. She has needed a best friend her age for a while, so I feel like little Kaya is an answer to prayers. As soon as we walked up to the back door of the school (we live THREE houses down from Hazel's school!) Kaya was there and Hazel grabbed her hand and would barely even let go of it to give me and Jeff hugs. She was putting on a good face, but I could tell she was a bit anxious. I gave her a big kiss and watched her walk boldly in. I just think there is something so amazing about seeing your kids do hard and good things.
I followed Hazel down the hallway. She didn't look back once.
She came out beaming after school. She had made some new friends and impressed her teachers with her mad monkey bar skills. What more could you want? The only part she didn't like, and she told me right away, was how noisy the cafeteria was. The chaos there offended her little soul. I loved that she came right home and told me all the details. I'm going to drink that part in while it lasts. It's sort of hard for me to accept that my kids will have their whole little worlds that I won't know all about.
We had an afternoon full of celebrations. We went to the "cow" place for ice cream after we picked her up. And we went into Boston to meet Jeff for dinner. Hazel happily recited all the details of the day over again for him.
One of the most reassuring things about the day for me was how Charlie just stepped up as soon as Hazel left. He carefully negotiated little Emmeline through the day (almost as good as Hazel would have). He helped her with her shoes and played with her. I even caught him giving her a big hug and telling her "We're going to be great friends now little Emma." He was suddenly such a big kid. He starts pre-K at the Rockland tomorrow.
I think we're going to survive this new life. I can't promise we'll all be happy little birds scrambling to get ready in the morning....but I think the challenge and the structure will be good for all of us.....especially Hazel.
I love how life changes just when you need it to.
I love this little girl and her parentheses around her little smile. I love that I know she will do good things at school, that I know she'll be good to other children and listen to the teacher. I hate it that she might get hurt and might feel a little insecure and lost at times....but I also know that letting go is what every good mother needs to do. I have faith that this little girl will do great (maybe even better) without me.
Off to bed (morning will from now on come much earlier!) On to the next part of life.