The first morning of junior Kindergarten went something like this: We woke up at 6:30 ready to tackle getting everyone dressed and out the door by 8. I made Mya’s favorite breakfast and shaped it to look like a heart. I packed a snack and water bottle in Mya’s new pink backpack. The forecast had called for rain all day but the sky was only slightly cloudy and the sun shone a perfect light into our entry hall. I quietely made a cup of coffee and walked upstairs to wake up the girls. After that, things went something like this: Ellie awoke covered in food from dinner the night before as I’m trying to phase out her reflux medication and she must have quietely spit up in her sleep. Mya decided she preferred pepperoni for breakfast instead of the Nutella bagel I had made moments earlier. I spent a lot of time standing in between Mya and the TV with my hands on my hips. Mya cried the entire way to school because she said her stomach hurt and she didn’t want to go to school. There were no open spaces in the school parking lot as it appeared every family had taken two cars to drop their kids off at school. I clung to Mya in the parking lot as I held Ellie tightly on my shoulder, parking lots these days are my parent nightmare. Once inside the doors of Mya’s school, parents raced through the hall, children screamed at the door, I couldn’t find Mya’s hook, Ellie was pulling my hair so tightly I felt like crying. Then a sweet little girl found Mya, she smiled and Mya immediately reciprocated. They held hands and ran into their classroom, I yelled Mya’s name as she almost disappeared and she ran back to give me a hug. The stomach appearing to be healed, the glow in her eyes of friends and fresh boxes of crayons, clean desks, and unopened books. The magic of education had transformed the girl that only moments ago had been in tears in the back of my car. Ellie and I left the parking lot, just as the rain started falling from the sky. I find chaos always seems all encompasing when you’re in it. But by 8:45 am the day had already turned itself around and returned to where it had been when I first lay my feet on the woven rug in our bedroom. I can’t really tell you what the day at school went like as the details from Mya were sparse, but that smile when I picked her up is all I need. A successful first day, minus all that early morning chaos.
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