From about the second week of summer vacation, I will admit, that I was looking forward to sending the kids back to school. Don't look at me like that. At least half of you were thinking the same thing, and the other half? Well, you've either got more patience or more laid back children than I have.
My kids love each other so much. They're the first to rush to the other's defense, the first to make sure that the other is getting her fair share, and the first to bristle at perceived slights to the other. They are also, unfortunately, the first to poke at the other til she cries, the first to grab things out of the other's hand and run, and the first to tease the other until she snaps and gets in trouble.
There was a lot of that this summer, as I'm sure there was at your house. It seems to be the way of siblings, doesn't it?
This morning, they fidgeted as I braided their hair. They admired their new lunch bags. "I'm a grade now, Mummy! I stay for lunch too!" Kee said, stroking hers admiringly. They posed for the obligatory pictures.
It's a whole new school for my kids this year.
Beege went right up to the first official looking adult she found and introduced herself. She found out where she was supposed to go and looked out for "the teacher in the red dress... she's mine." She wanted us to stay with her until she went in. There were kisses and hugs.
Kee found her lineup and went to stand by herself, the only sign of her nervousness the way she was chewing on her lip as she looked around. She rolled her eyes good-naturedly when I yelled, "bye baby! Love you! Have a good day!" Apparently grade one is not too early to be embarrassed by your mum.
We dropped them off at their separate entrances, surrounded by new kids and teachers I'd never met. And I worried. Because that's what I do. Will they meet some nice kids? Do they have enough for lunch? Will they be too hot? Will they be able to find the bathroom?
I walked home with Husband, fighting tears and trying not to be an idiot. He didn't get it. Not only do we not know anyone - they don't know us.
Her new teacher won't recognise that the stubborn jutting of Kee's chin that really means that she's nervous or uncomfortable. Her new teacher might not think it's charming that Beege sometimes hums and nods at the ends of sentences, and doesn't always remember to look at the person she's talking to.
They don't love them yet.
I'm sure they will. My kids are charming, and interesting, and lovable. Just like most other kids, when you get to know them. But they don't yet.
And so, today, I'll worry.
I'll sit around in my pajamas and watch YouTube videos instead of doing anything that might take my concentration off of the girls and hoping their day is going well. I'll be there ten minutes early to pick them up so that they don't have to spend a second wondering where I am. We'll order pizza and I'll get as much as I can out of them about their days. I'll ask about teachers, and classrooms, and other kids. I'll ask about the library and the music room. We'll play a game together and then get everyone ready for bed.
And tomorrow, most likely, I'll worry a little less.