This is the second week of school for LAUSD. It still feels like the middle of summer, but my Facebook feed is full of shiny faces, new shoes, and backpacks. Our tiny friends with older siblings are on different schedules, no longer able to meet up for an impromptu afternoon at the park.
For the first time, I really know some kids and some parents that had their first day of Kindergarten last week. Before this year, it has always been a vague, abstract, someday kind of idea. This year is different. This year it lands heavy on my chest. This year I cried at the pictures of other people's children on their first day of school.
I can't tell you why I cried. Maybe it is because the school looks so big and she still look so small. Maybe it is because I've known him since he was half this age, held his hand and wiped his boogers. Maybe it is because I know how this big new step, not more than any of the others, but in a new sharp way, makes her mom feel that she is losing her, even when she knows that isn't true. Maybe it is because I don't have a plan yet. It's only a year away and I don't have a plan.
But they all did it anyway. The first day of school came and went. The intelligence I've received from the other side, is that somewhere, deep down, all of the work of those first five years pays off. I've heard that they eat more at dinner and fall asleep in a sweaty heap in the middle of bedtime stories. I've heard that after six hours apart, they miss their siblings, who they've been been squabbling with all summer. I've heard it has been a grand adventure.
Whether I am or not, they were all ready.
I'm so glad I have another year.