For years I've seen the photos of smiling (and crying) small children heading off on their first day of school. My reaction was a pretty standard "aw that's cute." But I never fully grasped the enormity of that moment for the kids and for their parents.
Over here we are all mostly ready for this transition. Mac is an only child and he is lonely. My ability to stay in character while playing dinosaurs or having a magical pony tea party is not note-worthy. He is craving more child interaction than the park and playdates can provide. And I think I will enjoy playing dinosaurs and having tea parties much more when they happen for a few hours in the evening rather than ALL.DAMN.DAY. Also, my business is really busy. Which is a really fantastic problem to have but it's also really hard to find balance. Most days you can find me editing photos until the very wee hours of the morning and then I'm woken-up by Mac, full of energy and ready to start his day, just a few hours later. With him in school all day I can hopefully get more work done during daylight hours and actually spend more quality time with my family.
So, for all of these reasons, we are very much looking forward to the first day of school tomorrow. But then, there's the reality that I'm sending my whole heart off into some kind of unknown wilderness. My sweet kid who has been somewhat sheltered in his 4 years on this earth. Who hasn't yet learned that "pink is for girls" and "blue is for boys." Who is as likely to ask for fairy wings as a toy truck. Who still says "did you notice that?" instead of "did you know that?" which makes me smile every.single.time. What changes are in store for all of us in the months ahead? Will the teachers be kind to him? Will the kids be kind to him? Will he be kind to the other kids? Will he be able to hold onto his goofy and sweet personality? There's a lot of questions.
Recently, in a parenting group I'm in, someone really smart offered the following words of wisdom:
"Sending our kids out into the parts of the world we can't carefully curate is the greatest act of faith imaginable. Faith in our kids that they have the resilience and self-confidence to be themselves. Faith in humanity to recognize and celebrate their beauty. Faith in ourselves that we've prepared them for whatever is ahead."
And she is so very right. So that is what I'm trying to do - have faith. And my gosh it is hard!
So this one is for all the first time school parents out there this week. May we all keep the faith.
P.S. Thanks for reading! I know it's been a long time since I've written. There's a few reasons for that - one being that I've struggled to find the balance between public and private. And that gets more complicated as Mac ages and has his own personality. It's sometimes hard to differentiate between my stories and his stories. But the biggest reason is that Mondays with Mac Photography has just been so very very busy and I'm rarely ahead of schedule when it comes to editing. I'm hoping that Mac being in school will allow me a bit more time to write (both about my family and to share the images from the beautiful wedding and families I photograph). So it seemed like the first day of school was as good a day as any to jump back in.