First, first, first day of Kindergarten

My firstborn son went to his first day of his first year of school. I have been anticipating this day for, oh, about 6+ years now. There’s trepidation and excitement: will he love school like I did? Have I taught him the right amount of the right things? Did I do everything I was supposed to do in order to do this first handoff? From now on, he will have to choose to do the things he is supposed to do, and I’m just the supporting cast.

The first day of Kindergarten was a big day for me.

SOME parents don't get surly faced kids until Middle School!!!
SOME parents don't get surly faced kids until Middle School!!!

Not for him. You could almost hear the “yeah yeah” as he happily ran ahead of me to the door. He tried to convince me that I could just drop him off. That I didn’t have to come in. That he was FINE thanks mom! There was, I think, a brief rolling of eyes when I held out my hand. He spotted his teacher and whoosh! He was gone – pausing only to give me a high-five on his way out the door.
Can you spot the Grey?
Can you spot the Grey?

The other parents and I looked at each other and shrugged. I guess that was it. My neighbor gave me a hug.

All day I wondered how it was going. Was he having fun? (More fun than I was having, I’d warrant!) Was he starting off on the right foot? Was anyone making fun of him or his lunch or anything?

When I picked him up from afterschool care, I asked how the day had gone. “Awesome!” He filled us in on the details: they play music at lunch, they played a fighting game in computer class, gym was his favorite part (a candy-filled pinata seemed to influence that decision), a kid had bullied him but the situation had been quickly and favorably resolved (I am having particular trouble figuring out what really happened with this one), all his friends had a great day too.

So Kindergarten, one day in, two thumbs up.

Lincoln and Grey lining up to go upstairs
Lincoln and Grey lining up to go upstairs

And the thunder rolls

Fierce weather has cut a swath across this continent. Tonight it is touching down in my small Commonwealth – but so far distantly. Tonight, after the children were tucked in, I snuck up to our high attic to watch the lightening. It was truly a remarkable night for lightening. The sky flickered as though some distant celestial campfire threw shadows upon our darkened world – illuminating the spring-heavy trees and church steeples. The thunder was a constant rumble. The lightening I saw never touched down – it threaded across the sky like revealed veins in the encircling arms of the sky. But here, north and east of Boston, it seems not much more than a summer storm, ushering fast, cool winds.

The fifteen minutes I spent there, in a dark room watching lightening flicker ceaselessly, seems like the first quiet fifteen minutes I’ve had in about two weeks. It has been a busy stretch! When I think of all the things I’ve saved up to tell you – important things! – I feel nearly overwhelmed. And tonight I feel too poetic for bullet points. Last night I stayed up until 1:15 in the morning transcribing 18 pages of notes on the risks and mitigations of an ERP transition for a 9 hour meeting I attended. If I never see another brutally factual bullet point, it may be too soon.

Two boys and two puppies
Two boys and two puppies

So instead we will wander on together, long form.

First: my knee. When last we left our favorite joint, it was in dire discomfort. I checked that wall I so blithely jumped off again yesterday, and I must confess that it might be closer to five feet than the four I defended myself with. A week after the initial injury I met with an orthopedic surgeon, who got me to PT not 5 minutes later. Really. Remarkable. I did a few PT sessions, and now I’m quite certain that it was a bad sprain. Today, I managed to do several flights of stairs leading with BOTH legs. I even ran for a bit before I realized that was probably a bad idea. (But it was pouring!) I kneeled to pick up toys. I am pretty sure in two weeks there will be barely a twinge left. I’m going to try to actually get ahead of my pre-injured state with the PT sessions I have remaining though. This knee has never been quite as strong and capable as we might desire. But at this point, it is only hampering the most enthusiastic of my activities. (No 5K for me this weekend, not that I was planning on one!)

Second: it’s a darn good thing I was 90% mobile, as we went camping this weekend. At the time, I would’ve told you it was buggy, stressful and I was unsure of whether this was all worth it. It has only taken a few days to fade into lovely memories. How wonderful and odd our minds are to make it possible for us to enjoy things in retrospect that we did not enjoy at the time, or to forget pain and remember pleasure. One of those remembered pleasures was swimming. Our preferred campground, White Lake State Park boasts a lovely sandy beach offering access to a lovely mountain lake which is surprisingly warm, even in May. We went swimming three times, which is a pretty good ratio for so early in the season. Grey displayed significantly more water skill. Thane showed significantly more water-wariness (after recreationally attempting to drown himself constantly last year). I got to take some lovely swims out towards the middle of the lake, past the sight of inflatable alligators where all I could see were mountains, trees and water. Grey made a friend in the little boy at the next campsite. Thane did 1000 puzzles, just like he would’ve done at home. We also had a lovely “car walk” across the Kankamangus, down to Lake Winnepesaukee and back. I have concluded that the thing that would make camping super fun was if some of my friends came too, so we could tell tall tales around campfire. Unfortunately, my friends all seem to have either a) lake houses or access thereto or b) sense.

My boys
My boys

Third. It has come to my attention that my children are growing up too fast. I’d like to complain to the management, please! This morning was, truth be told, Kindergarten orientation. We went up to Grey’s to-be classroom and met his to-be classmates and to-be teacher. It is a lovely classroom, with books and colors and name tags. It is a place where I think he will be happy. The school is super duper. I mean, I went to FOUR elementary schools, and you could combine the enrichment features of all four of them and still end up short of this one. There’s a music room, and art room, a gym, a stage, a science room (seriously?!!?). They have onsite physical and occupational therapists. There is a school nurse and school psychologist. The library was large and friendly. There was a well equipped computer classroom. The children we saw all seemed to be engaged, having fun, learning, doing cool things. They were very friendly, welcoming the little kids to the school. It felt like a very healthy, happy place where the kids learned good things – and where there was room for them to be themselves. I am super-pleased, since this is just our local public school!

Then, when I picked Thane up, I got the word that he will be going to preschool next month. Indeed, he had apparently gone for a visit today, and his teachers had a hard time convincing him to come back to the Toddler 2 classroom. “He’s so ready” they told me. I know he is. I can’t argue. But sometimes I look at him and wonder where my little baby went. I can hardly see any traces of the infant in his determined features and flamboyant curls.

So while the accountant in me looks at these big changes and says “KACHING!” (because lo! Preschool + public Kindergarten < toddler care + preschool!), the woman in me, growing a little older, looks a little wistfully at how quickly her sons are wantonly abandoning their baby-hoods in preference for boyhood. I like babies. I was rather fond of my babies. I'm proud and pleased by the young men my sons are becoming, but I hope they don't feel the need to be too grown, too soon.

There you go – the momentous events of the last week and a half. Perhaps sometime I'll have the leisure and opportunity to post things that are NOT bare-bones updates… but we will all have to wait together for that moment.
A nearly preschooler looks for frogs