Here come the pencils! Here come the books!


School is upon us, and you can feel the excitement in the air! The girls have picked out new backpacks and lunch bags; they’ve gotten new shoes and school supplies.

But the excitement goes beyond new markers and crayons. It’s the idea of a fresh start; creating new memories and making new friends

I shake my head in disbelieve that the Little Bird is going into Grade 3. And the Little Bird into Senior Kindergarten.

Where are my babies!?

They are there. You can see it in slight hesitation they have when I ask them (albeit too often) if they are excited for school. I realized that they probably have a bit of anxiety, as I used to feel. In fact, the Little Bird said yesterday, “Mommy, I’d like to just do back to school shopping, without going back to school.”

You wish!

I love stealing moments with her. She’s growing up so fast, she’s almost a tween.

[insert your prayers here]

She loves to talk to me about her thoughts on the world, and how she enjoys watching out for her little sister. She also loves to hang out with older kids, and as I saw this past summer, make new friends. She’s come a long way, from a shy, somewhat introverted little girl. She is trying to put herself out there, and find her place in the big, bad world of being eight.

It makes me feel proud.

She’s always one to tell me her feelings, but she takes some time to warm up. And I’ve learned not to push her. She’ll come around. She’ll tell me what she feels, and her ideas to solve the problem.

I also understand her hesitation about starting grade 3. She knows this is an EQAO year (the assessment of reading, writing and math), and while I explained to her that it’s not really something she should be worried about, she wouldn’t be my Little Bird if she didn’t already worry about it.

She’s nervous to find out which friends are going to be in her class. And which teacher she’ll have. Here is where I feel bad for her. Aside from her grade 1 teacher, this kid has no past teachers remaining at the school. Her JK teacher left to start the Full Day Kindergarten program at another school. Her SK and grade 2 teachers were both long-term placements. She said to me once that she didn’t want to like her grade 2 teacher so much, because she was probably going to leave her.

She couldn’t help it, and she ended up loving her a lot. But she was right, because she’s not returning this year.

In grade 1, you will remember me writing about how they put her and a boy together, from the group of eight kids that were together from JK. (See: First in First) It was hard for her, but she was brave and slowly made new friends. As I look back, I’m sort of grateful that happened to her, because it forced to get to know more kids.

In grade 2, we had a bit of a struggle. I’ll refer to it as the battle of the Type A’s. The girls all vying for top spot; which didn’t entail anything bad, but at that age they like to be in charge. And my Little Bird definitely likes to take charge. In the end, they found their places, and she learned how to express herself and even make new friends. She had a great year.

What will happen this year? Which teacher will she get? Which friends will be with her? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday, and she’s starting to be more casual about it, but I can tell she’s nervous to see.

The Little Mouse on the other hand, is super excited to use her new backpack; featuring Gidget from The Secret Life of Pets. Aside from that, things for her should be pretty smooth. She should remain in the same class as last year, with her same JK friends (who will all now be the SK friends).

Of course, that doesn’t mean that it could change, because it could. But I’m hoping for a very boring first day of school drop off. She cried last year (see: Adjusting), which the Little Bird didn’t do. So she broke my heart when she asked me to take her home.

So when I say I am hoping for a boring first day of school drop off, I’m hoping she sees her friends, runs to play and doesn’t look back.

Okay, maybe just to wave goodbye. I will take myself, and my tears (you know it’s going to happen) and walk home, like I always do.

And this child, the one who everyone says is “so cute, and so good, and so well behaved” has come a long way too! Not only did she spout up, seeming to skip size 5 category of clothes completely, but she’s becoming more independent.

She likes to teeter on the ledge of still being my baby and being a big girl like her sister, but every once in a while I look at her and realize that she’s growing up. She’s not a baby anymore. She won’t let me help her into (or out of) the car anymore. She folds her own clothes (into the tiniest square she can manage). She’s getting a little bit better at putting her things away, although apparently the struggle is only real at home. She’s an angel at school.

That’s always the case, isn’t it?!

She even said the other day that she wished she could be a part of reading the books at the end of the night with her sister and me. We have started taking turns, or reading a book together (left side me, right side her) and the other night as we were doing that, the Little Mouse said she wished that she could read too. I told her that she’s going to start learning her words in SK and soon she will read to us! She seemed very excited about that.

I am too.

I’m excited for my girls to find their path and start the 2016-2017 year off right. My wish for them, as it is every year, is to be kind, have compassion and empathy for those around them. Help themselves and their classmates. Be a role model and do what’s right. Make new friends, try new things, play hard and learn lots.

Bring on the pencils and bring on the books!! Wishing my kids and all other munchkins a successful school year ahead!

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