Oh man. I am sitting here on the eve of school starting. I steam cleaned every carpet in my house this past week. I also scrubbed the mold off of the ceiling in our bathroom, and vacuumed and steam cleaned the van. Every room is is polished and every dish clean. The school shoes are laid out next to their not so new but just perfect first day of school outfits. The lunch boxes are laid out, and bags packed. Why? Well, even though I know "control" is just an illusion, I feel completely out of control of nearly every part of my life. And when that happens....I clean. The straight vacuum lines and lemon fresh scent bring some measure of control into my life. Or so it feels. And I have never felt so dismantled. Its way beyond Noah going to school. Three months ago, that was one of my greatest concerns. I have since learned that much worse can happen. But back to Noah... I met with the principal, met with the teacher, met with the principal of a Christian school, talked to numerous parents, prayed my brains out. Our public schools switched to all day every day kindergarten. I know that most states have already gone that route, but I went through this with Landon and I KNOW that once they start that all day every day transition, the dynamic changes. I lose so much influence. The child changes and grows literally over night. Landon was almost 7 before he went all day every day. With this new change, and how Noah's birthday fell, he is 5 years and three months old. I feel that they are stealing my 5 year old from me. They assure me that they are not. In fact they had a million and one reasons that this is the best thing for kindergarteners now. I wasn't convinced. But something is keeping me from the 3 day Christian school option too. Something besides the steep price. So he is at public school, with his brother, and he is thrilled. He met his teacher and likes his classroom and is more excited than anything to eat out of his spiderman lunch box and NOT take a nap. For the beginning of the school year, I will be voluntarily pulling him out of school on Wednesdays. Its my compromise with the school system. And every minute of Wonderful Wednesday will be spent doing 5 year old things. Because next year (or later this year...if they make me) I will have to let him go and make this full transition.
I don't want a debate on public vs christian education or homeschooling. Nor am I saying that if you send your child to an all day every day program, you are doing something wrong. Most of you probably are sending them to just that. I realize I am the weird one here. Its not that I can't let him go. I just don't want to. These past 5 years went so quickly. And with the addition of Everett, I feel like life has gone on hyperdrive. The last 9 months of my life were especially insane, and looking back, I feel as if my very time was stolen from me. I want to invest my time in my children. In my family. In these little innocent people that we are sending out into the crazy wide world. So that they are ready. And so that they know, when that bell rings, or when that mistake is made, or when they need a way out, or a place to fall...we are here. They can come home.
I remember when Noah learned to walk. He ran that same week. He runs everywhere, or jumps while karate chopping. He greets life with a wide open mouth grin and his arms are not out to protect him, but out to grasp whatever comes his way. I see him embracing this school experience in the same way. He is caught between being 5 and wanting to have Grandma Day and cooking with mama and craving the freedom and independence that he sees school as offering him. He is embracing both, fully. And that is how I know that this is right for us. Just us. Every child is different. This is right for my Noah. Something different may be in order for Everett. Three days was perfect for Landon.
So tomorrow starts a whole new chapter in the life of Noah, and really in our whole family. What happens with one, affects the whole. Its so true. Mama's with young ones...hold them tight but teach them to fly. Time goes so fast. It was just yesterday that Noah was born, right? Sometimes it feels endless, but looking back it goes so quickly. I know this. Landon has already gone before and taught me once. But I am learning anew.
I am so excited for our Joy Boy and all that he will encounter in this new season of life. When he learned to walk, he let go of my finger reluctantly. This is one more step in that journey of independence. A big one. He is taking a few more steps away from us and towards his own life. But we still have so much influence. So much opportunity. So much to teach and to love and to impart. I am so thankful for that. Thankful that at the end of the day, we are home...to all of our beautiful boys.