Our four year old twins start Pre-K tomorrow morning as it's the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools and we have kids attending this year. As we were loading our Target cart today with supplies (times 2), I had to wrap my head around the idea that we have one more year of this little kid school before kindergarten next year. Before they are gone all day, 5 days a week. I am going to be a HOT MESS.
But for now, for this last year of school for only 2.5 hours each day, I am just super excited. For them, for us, for all these kids that are beginning a new year full of hope and possibility.
Back to school and Fall always feels like the new year to me, much more so than January 1st. Everyone is shiny and new and ready to start again. A new chance. A new choice.
It's impossible to look up at those blue blue clear September skies without feeling great big gratitude.
As I think of all we don't have, I switch to all we do have. We have healthy, growing kids and we live in an area where they can walk to a public school without fear of gunfire or too much danger lurking, unlike just a few miles away in our beloved fair city. We have a stable home. We have healthy food. We have cool and warm clothes and footwear. We have cozy beds and a reliable car. We are able to go to Target to buy school supplies. We have so much love. We have everything.
We have this new year starting and it reminds me of this time last year, and all that's happened since then. It's been a rough year. A painful year. A maddening year. But these kids....they go on.
So I must go on.
It is my honor and privilege to buy school supplies (times two) for our kids going to their first Chicago Public School starting tomorrow. I know the thrill may lessen through the years, but right now I'm filled with hope and so so grateful for all the teachers and aides and these kids even admitted to being a little ESSITED today.
I'm reminded of that Disney commercial from several years ago where the little kids are too excited to sleep thinking of the magic waiting for them the next day on their trip to DisneyWorld. In this case, it's school and it is even more exciting and full of wonder. I am too excited to sleep. And it feels like a gift and a jolt of newness and fresh air that we need right now.
Thank you teachers and aides and administrators and all the helpers. THANK YOU. Cheers to a great year and watch out for this over zealous, middle-aged mama who really wants to help with ALL THE THINGS. I will do my best to give my time, resources, supplies, and try not be too annoying, but just your cheerleader to your face and at home.
Big love to all the parents and caregivers going through this transition right now starting a new year and all the feelings that go with it - for the kids and for us - it's a lot. Be kind with yourselves and each other. Let's grant each other even more grace. These kids are feeling all the feelings just like we are, and I'm trying to allow them (and myself) to do just that. Big huge love to all of you.
When in doubt, I'm going to look up to that big blue September sky and think of all of us out here doing this right now, at this time. We are all feeling these feelings, no matter what age our children happen to be. They may evolve and grow, but they're always our babies, and we always hope hope hope for them. We are nervous and scared and excited and hopeful and sad and joyful all at once, but we can walk through it together.
All you other parents, I'm with you. I AM WITH YOU. I am rooting for your kids as much as I'm rooting for mine. I got you. I pledge to speak to you and not about you. I am ready to fall in love just like I did last year with our group at preschool.
I may seem overly eager or too excited for my own good, but it's just because I'm so gd grateful for the opportunity to be here. To be their mama. To be getting them ready for school in the morning. How lucky are we?
Chicago Public Schools, I want to be your biggest supporter. I am looking forward to this whole long and winding road we have ahead of us, for we will get to know each other well.
It is my honor and privilege to buy school supplies (times two) for our kids going to their first Chicago Public School starting tomorrow. An honor and a privilege. You teachers and aides? I AM ROOTING FOR YOU. You deserve all the respect in the world, and I'm already in love with you. I can't wait for my kids to fall in love with you too.
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