One and Four


The girls started early this year asking about school. They wanted to go school supply shopping, find their indoor and outdoor shoes, new backpacks and get everything ready. I told them it was too early, but after constant begging, we bought their shoes, backpacks and school supplies. I even organized their uniforms, ensuring all items fit properly, were washed and folded and sorted.

Then, once we had all of that, they wanted it labelled and sorted and to set up their bags to be ready for the first day of school.

They were both very excited. The most excited they have ever been to start school. So, even though there were two weeks still to go, we set everything up. And the bags have been sitting, ready to go, ever since.

Starting last week, they started the countdown.

All this anticipation makes me happy, and their excitement is contagious. Let’s hope it’s lasts.

The last five years went by in the blink of an eye. Yesterday the Little Bird was starting JK, and now she’s going into Grade four. EQAO is behind her, and, thanks to some tutoring help, she is more confident in math.

I can see how she has matured, both in the way she dresses herself and in the way she speaks and responds to uncertainty. She is calmer, and understands life a little more.

But she’s still my little girl, and lets me read the book at bedtime (mostly because I think they like the voices I use for different characters). Whatever the reason, I cherish those moments with them. She is a lot like me when it comes to her love of reading and expressing herself through art or crafting. She can sit for hours doing something and then proudly shows off her art, and/or gives everyone in the house something she made for them.

My gut hurts at the thought that she’s is closer to finishing elementary school, than she is from when she started. I’m afraid to blink, because soon she’ll be off to high school. And from there my mind races at the thought of university and beyond.

So, for now, I’m going to firmly plant my feet in the fourth grade along with her.

I think where my head spins more is the reality that the Little Mouse is going into Grade one. She’s now in the big playground, which scares me to death, not because I think anything will happen to her, but because she’s used to the small kinder area, where if she takes off her sweater and puts it down, it will be there where she left it. In the big playground, where there are a lot more students, and more places to go, my fear is that we’re going to have a lot more missing articles of outerwear. And I’m not looking forward to that.

What I am looking forward to is a smaller class. She was part of one of the largest JK/SK classes that I can remember with a whopping 31 kids. So, there is no way there will be 31 kids in her Grade one class, so I’m looking forward to that.

I secretly hope she has the same Grade one teacher her sister had. The kind of teacher school boards should mold all Grade one teachers after. She did wonders for the Little Bird, and I know she can be just as wonderful to the Little Mouse. But we’ll have to wait a few more days to find that out.

Whoever she gets will be great. And the Little Mouse will be just as good. She’s a pretty adaptable kid. And occasionally I catch a glimpse of the little lady she will be. She too, has grown up a lot over the summer.

She was just as excited to get to use her own school supplies this year, and has a few pencil cases with markers, pencil crayons and crayons. She has erasers and pencils and has carefully placed them all inside her new rolling backpack, but when you talk to her about school, she isn’t as sure. Probably because she doesn’t really understand how it will be.

When you ask her what she is looking forward to, she says she can’t wait to do art and science. The Little Mouse is quick to explain she won’t be doing too many experiments like she sees on tv with lab coats and bubbling test tubes, however she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s excited to get started.

I have already had a few talks with the Little Bird, asking her to please keep her eye on her little sister, to make sure she’s okay. And I’m told not to worry.

She’s got this!


So, I have to trust that they both do. They are going to be great.

My wishes for the school year ahead are always the same:

  • Be kind
  • Be brave
  • Make good choices
  • Try your hardest
  • Make new friends
  • Listen to your teachers
  • Help others
  • Have fun

And with the long weekend upon us, and the summer weather disappearing quickly, I wish all students, teachers and parents a successful 2017/2018 school year!

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