'Twas the night before school starts (and my kid is terrified).

'Twas the night before school starts (and my kid is terrified).

‘Twas the night before school starts and all through the house,
Little creatures were stirring (but no sign of a louse).
Lunches were packed and stored in the fridge,
Bedtime was firm and would not move a smidge.

Alas, peaceful sleep was not to be found,
My mama bear nerves had me pacing around.
At midnight the youngest cried in her crib
Asked Daddy to sing, because he’s quite glib.

At 2am my parched middle daughter
Wailed and moaned that she needed some water.
At 4am the wind lashed with the rain,
The thunder crashed and rattled my brain.

My oldest awoke from the sounds of the storm
And snuggled in blankets to keep herself warm.
The morning found us all grumpy and tired
Except for the baby who seemed to be wired.

Breakfast did what food always does best
And brought peaceful quiet back to the nest.
As blood sugars rose and tempers slowed down,
My three little girls turned the morning around.

With excitement and bustling we raced out the door
We took twenty photos and I wanted some more,
But then my five-year-old grew very quiet.
Regarding Kindergarten: “I do not want to try it.”

Her leg in a cast and her spirits dejected,
My sweet little daughter feared being rejected.
“I’m scared,” she wept and my stomach felt tight
I hid my own angst and kept my tone light.

I tossed a quick kiss to my great big third-grader
Who rushed off with friends and yelled to me, “Later!”
My third girl, a baby, was perched on my hip,
As tears from the middle’s eyes started to drip.

Hugging her close, I said, “You’ll be okay,”
And counted the minutes the rest of the day
Until I could see her and hear how it went.
I called my mom and let my fears vent.

At pickup, her friend from the other class
Said he saw Annie Rose after lunch in the grass.
“Was she smiling or crying?” I asked him in jest.
“Crying,” he said, and my heart was distressed.

I waited and waited for her face to appear
As kids streamed out of the building with cheer.
Suddenly I saw her! My middle! Clinging to big sister’s arm,
Certain that oldest would keep her from harm.

My eight-year-old told me that her day was “Awesome!”
I turned with hope to my vulnerable blossom.
“And how was your day? Can you give it a rate?”
“It started off scary but ended up great!”

I swooped with joy and searched her young face
And asked, would she want to return to this place?
When she nodded yes the sunshine felt bright
And I knew I would sleep more soundly this night.

How is it that once again it is September?
My children as babies I will always remember
Time only goes forward; we can never go back
To the days when they nestled in a baby sleep sack.

I miss them– their voices, their stories, their fights.
In darkest December, the girls are my lights.
The house is too quiet, the rooms are too neat,
I search for the patter of their little feet.

Another year started, so full of high hopes
And my Kindergartener is learning the ropes
School is the garden where my children belong
But Mondays through Fridays, for them I’ll long.

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