It has been a long summer of mourning. And muddling through. If you're wondering, mothering while mourning is not for the faint of heart. I'm not at all implying that I was good at it - not even close. There were many days over this summer alone with Brian that I had to depend on my Scooby Doo survival skills. And by that I mean... I let Brian watch a lot of Scooby Doo while I stared at the wall and reminded myself to breathe.
But the Summer is now turning into Fall.
And just as the Fall of 2007 promised us a new beginning as a family as we awaited Gavin's birth, this Fall promises us a different type of new beginning.
This beginning doesn't mean that anything is ending. Our family will always include Gavin, Brian, Darcy... and soon, Hope. Nothing is ending with this new beginning of ours...
...we're just beginning again in a new way. And today was the first big step. Brian's first day of school.
He was very excited to go. And I was very excited to send him. Not because I wanted to be away from him... but because he needed a new beginning, too. He needed the consistency and routine that becomes a comfort to children. He needed to be around other kids his age and not his Mommy all day. It's only three hours a day, five days a week - but it's perfect. I'm so, so happy for Brian.
Maybe you're thinking... "This is pretty dramatic for a "First Day of School" post." And maybe it does seem that way. But from where I sit - today symbolized so much more.
From this moment on, nothing will be the same. Brian will be in school every day... Hope is around the corner... our family landscape is changing very quickly. And just as it is with any change in our lives, we can either adapt and roll with it... or stay stuck and stubborn. We owe it to Gavin and to his siblings to adapt. That's the only choice for us and we make it with love.
This morning couldn't have gone better. I dressed Brian in green - my favorite color and the color I think of when I think of new beginnings... fresh starts... hope. He loved his backpack and his new pants that had pockets on the legs. He couldn't wait to get into that school.
On the way over in the car he said...
"Mama - you can walk me to my classroom, okay?"
"Buddy, I think the Moms and Dads have to drop the kids off outside, just like your old school!"
And he said...
"That's ok, Mom. They'll understand. It's a special day. It will make you happy. You can walk me to my classroom today and tomorrow you can drop me off."
How can you argue with that?
I followed him down the hall and watched him slowly creep up to his classroom.
He bravely inched his way to the door and peeked around the corner.
And then, he was confident. He remembered what Miss Kristen told him - as soon as you come in, find your name on the apples and place it on the tree so everyone knows who is here today. And with that, I kissed him goodbye. (p.s. - his backpack looks humongous because it's stuffed with items he needed to bring in to leave in his cubby. It's not really that big!!)
I came home and accomplished a LOT - even though my goal was to sit in silence and stare at the wall. Once I was home, that seemed like a waste of time! I couldn't wait to pick him up, though. And when I did, he was so excited and happy. He had a great morning. The two of us went to Wegmans for lunch where I tried to get details from him about his day... to no avail.
Afterward, we celebrated his First Day of School by going to his (and Gavin's!) favorite place in town: Arnold's Family Fun Center!
I'll let these pictures tell the story...
Here's to a new beginning...