I had my first day of work on Thursday. I think it went fine but sometimes it's hard to tell. Four straight hours of teaching is hard on the vocal chords, that's for sure. I'll have to build up my stamina for that.
Madison schools start on Tuesday. We've got the holiday tomorrow and then we're off! A lot of us parents would have been happy if school had started a week or two ago. The days are getting noticeably shorter, and it just feels like it's time. Plus, kids have a way of driving you crazy at the end of summer break.
Last summer was stressful with family health issues and neighbor issues, plus I was kind of tied up in knots about Anya starting kindergarten. This summer was less stressful overall, thank goodness, but now that school is about to start, anxiety is kicking in for both Anya and me. This evening she completely fell apart over something that didn't seem like a big deal at all, and it took her a while to calm down. (That's a clue that she's feeling apprehensive. And that maybe she needs an earlier bedtime.)
I have to work on Tuesday morning, and I have to be there early enough that I won't be able to walk Daniel and Anya to school on their first day. I'll be there to pick them up at the end of the school day, and I'll be there on Wednesday afternoon already to help with a 3rd grade garden activity, but there is still this knot of guilt in my chest and a lump in my throat that I won't get to say goodbye in the schoolyard.
It's silly, I know. Most kids ride the bus and plenty of kids stay for the after-school program and all of them and their parents are obviously just fine not walking to school together from day one so I should just take a deep breath and get over it and dial back the on the helicopter thing.
Stuart, as far as I can tell, is as nonplussed as ever (his daily work routine isn't changing, after all), and when I asked Daniel if he feels a little nervous about school, he looked at me quizzically and said, "No. Why?" Ah, to be that easygoing!
In fact, Anya is pretty excited about my new job. She has been asking me a lot of questions about it, like where I'm working and exactly what days and how that fits into the school routine for her and Daniel. She wants to know who I'm teaching and what book I'm using. She is a curious child, and perhaps more interested in these sorts of things than other children her age, but I find it touching that she wants to know about my life outside of my role as Her Mom. It struck me last week that if I am a role model for both my kids, it's important for them to see that I have a fulfilling professional life, even if it's part time for now, outside of taking care of them and the house and helping at their school.
It just might be a bigger adjustment for me than I thought.