Today is the first day of school. Not going to lie, I am probably more nervous then the kids. Friendships are such a big deal to me. It took me a really long time to learn how to be myself. I spent most of my school years being who I thought I was supposed to be. That works great except everyone has a different opinion of what that is. Cue, schizophrenic posturing. I really came into my own as an adult, more specifically as a wife and mom. There are definitely elements of my school age, college and working adult personalities that are still with me but I have gotten to a place where I actually like my quirky, type-A, mom self...most of the time (thanks for that hormones.)
All this to say, my kids are not like that. They are just themselves. They don't seem to care about being cool. (Em's exact words, "Mom, I don't think I will ever be cool, but that is ok. It is more important to me to be smart because that is the gift God gave me and if I don't use it then I am wasting it.") She wants to be liked, but she wants to be liked for who she is. She doesn't want to pretend to be someone else. That is one reason leaving Batavia was so hard. She had some really good friends, at school and in her theater group, who got her and loved her that way.
Sam just wants someone to play video games with and a compatriot for recess. He is one of the most loving kids I know. He had some kids in his class last year that had pretty significant emotional needs. He was always the first to stick up for them., tell them things would be ok or invite them to a playdate. He is Jeff - easy-going, kind and lovable.
My children, especially Em value friendships the way I do. They are social kids. They want someone to lean on and they really want to be that for someone else. They also just want someone to play dolls and legos with. As mature as Sis is, she is still a little girl who likes to play house.
So, with all the feels going on this morning, I could not keep it together. I was doing so well until I pulled into the drop off lane. Then I was cheerful crying, you know where you try really hard to pretend you are not crying while talking in a totally unnatural voice about how great everything is going to be. "You guys are going to have a g-g-great day!" "I c-c-can't wait to hear a-a-all about it!"
As we got to the actual spot where you open your door to get out, there were fifth grade kids welcoming every child that got out of the car with a friendly "good morning!" The poor girl had the audacity to look at me and say, "have a great day!" Then came the ugly cry-the heaving, sobbing, I actually can not see out of my liquid eyeballs right now cry. Thank goodness the line to get out was moving slowly and I could sort of make out the maroon mini-van in front of me.
What to do with myself now? I went to the paint store, because nothing else is open at 7:40 when school starts here and I could not stand to go home just yet. I just silently weeped as I tried to pick a sunny yellow for the walls of Em's room. I pulled it together long enough to sort through the 50 shades of whitish/grayish/taupeish paint I was considering and then took my multiple paint chips and got back in the car to cry some more. The good news is at this point I think I am all cried out.
Someone will be kind to them today, I know this because that is just how God works. They may not meet their new BFF, but they didn't meet their Batavia besties on day one either. If all else fails, I will take them for cupcakes - if I survive the pick up lane.