Today for most is back-to-school – new backpacks, sneakers, clothes, pencils, notebooks, lunch bags. But for us it’s the last day of vacation.
At our local school, the new junior kindergarten students start via appointment with their parents throughout the day, getting used to the classroom and the teachers, being reassured that babies will be okay and the teachers are awesome and fun will be had. We did this last year with our week-old Isaac, watching Sophie find the reading area and the house centre and the blocks and the paints and the water table and all of the exciting things she’ll do. And then we went home to wait for her full first day, which would be the Thursday of that week.
This time we have a senior kindergarten student, someone who is experienced and accomplished, who is counting the sleeps until she can go back to school and see her friends and her teachers. Someone who now knows her mom is boring compared to the action-packed curriculum she got used to last year. Someone who makes us prouder with every moment than we could ever imagine.
Her first official day back-to-school is tomorrow, so today Ben has taken the day off and we are spending one last day of routine-less freedom enjoying the quiet and excitement, doing fun things like laundry and playing Super Mario on Ben’s old Nintendo 64 system. One last day of summer.
It’s also the last Tuesday following Labour Day that we won’t have to go to school. Next year, Lillian will be the Junior Kindergarten student with an appointment on the Tuesday and Sophie will be in Grade 1 full-time-all-the-time right from the hop and our life will look entirely different again.
We’ve already started working with Lillian’s speech therapist about the ramp up and transition to school next year. We’re considering this time, this final year when Lillian is a child of classless freedom, as the sprint to school, the final leg in a race we’ve been running since she was born, one that was punctuated with hearing aids at 4 months old, a cochlear implant at 13 months old, and amazing us with her smarts and tenacity THE WHOLE TIME.
I can’t even begin to think about this fella starting school.
The thought of being home alone with him next year is already wigging me out. I oscillate between worry about not being interesting enough for him alone at home and excited for all of the free time I’ll have during his naps in the afternoon. (Do I watch The Social or write my novel or nap…decisions, decisions!)
For today, though, the focus is on being in this moment, this last gasp of vacation and summer sun, of lazy days and schedule-free living. Today is about silliness and family-ness.
It’s about being kind and being slow and relishing in now, because tomorrow starts early and ends late and is the beginning of the next leg of our journey.
Because today is one last day, and we’re going to summer vacation the crap out of it!
To all those going back, good luck! Have fun! BE SAFE! And look for us tomorrow as we join your ranks again.