Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Day of School 2015

Here it is.  The dreaded first day of school.  Well, dreaded by me anyway.

Let's look at pictures of my precious babies and then we'll talk about this day.

Even Mom got a new shirt for the first day of school!

After school when I got all my kiddos back!

I always love the choices my kids make each year for back packs, lunch boxes, outifts, and shoes.  Nolan is into basketball and anything neon.  Griffin still loves blue and Minecraft.  Nora is a wildcard and continues to surprise me with each choice.  I loved this gray polka dot dress and she agreed!
This was a big year for us.  Nolan moved up to middle school and Nora--my youngest--started kindergarten.  It's been quite an adventure trying to learn the ways of middle school.  It's about 10 minutes away from our house (the elementary school is about 1 minute away from us).  It's a different car line system.  There's a lot more responsibility on the kids and a lot less parental control involvement.  And we don't know where anything is in the school.

On a positive note, we love all the teachers the kids got this year!  Nora has the teacher Griffin had for kindergarten, and Griffin has the teacher Nolan had for second grade.  Both of those teachers happen to be in our family's Teacher Hall of Fame.  Nolan's teacher, whom we know nothing about, is young and energetic and kind.  I think she's gonna be awesome.

So let's talk about that dread feeling.

About ten years ago, God placed an unbearably strong desire in my heart and calling on my life to be a mother.  About a year later, that dream came true.  When I kiss Nolan's soft cheeks before I go to bed, my mind instantly transports me back to kissing my soft, precious firstborn baby.  Griffin came along a little sooner than planned, and he presented us with unforeseen challenges.  But with greater challenges come greater victories.  And at the end of the day, that boy has the softest face and the sweetest smile and the gentlest kiss.  I love him more than I ever thought I could.  Then, of course, came Nora, the fulfillment of my secret desperate longing for a daughter.  She has proven to bring more joy than we ever anticipated.  She is hilarious and energetic and affectionate.  She's fiercely brave and will uphold our family legacy of strong women.

These kids have been my calling, my purpose, my daytime and nighttime, my job.  It's been the most difficult job a girl could ask for.  I couldn't possibly count the number of times I just didn't think I was up to the task.  I suppose God designed parenthood to be harder than we can do on our own because then we see our need for Him.

I have been so incredibly blessed to be a stay-at-home mom.  I wanted to be the one to teach my kids, play with them, help them grow and develop.  I wanted to experience the firsts and to be part of their everyday lives.  It's not that I'm trying to rehash the war on stay-at-home moms versus working moms.  I'm saying that this was my own desire and God allowed me to experience it.

That dream job technically ended yesterday.  Today marked the beginning of a new job, and I don't yet know the job description.  I feel sad to close a chapter in my life, especially a chapter I loved so much.  That's not to say that there aren't great things ahead.  I just need a minute to grieve the end of something wonderful.

For now, I am not planning to seek employment during this first year of having all my kids in school.  Anything could change at any time, of course.  I spent last school year overbooking myself, saying "yes" to everything, wearing myself down, and juggling too much.  I need a minute to breathe and figure out how to actually choose how to use my time and energy in the best possible way.  I'm still taking care of my extra kids, Garrit and Abby.  Last year I had them before school and then Abby was with me all day.  Now she is in Nora's kindergarten class!  So I'll have them for about an hour each morning and then will start the process of dropping off 5 kids at 2 schools.  At least I get to do it in my brand new (fairly used) gold minivan!

So I survived this day.  You know what, we kinda rocked this day.  I think it's okay to say that.  Gotta celebrate the victories.  Today goes in the "Success" column.  The kids are looking forward to tomorrow.  It won't be long before I loathe the sound of my alarm and the kids will be so sick of the morning routine.  But that's a problem for later.

I'm going to get some sweet sleep.  I need to be rested up to face that new car line tomorrow!


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