The house is quiet. The only thing I can hear is the tap tap of the rain on the windows and the hum of the refrigerator. (Thankfully it is on. We awoke this morning to no power. They said Post Irene power outages could happen. They were right, whoever “they” are. Sunday morning, too.)
But today is a special day. Today is the first day of school. The day when my baby girl joins her big brother in elementary school. Kindergarten!
Up early, all smiles, breakfast served, lunched packed, happy children, super mommy. It was a good dream.
But when I woke up to a gray rain and a dark room, as I fumbled for my book light, got my watch and realized we had no power, and no way of knowing if the outage was ours or townwide, it kind of threw a wrench into the morning routine.
I hadn’t heard any of the upper school buses go by, so it wasn’t until one zipped by at 7:06 am that we knew school was a go and the power outage was local.
My daughter came down, my still sleepy-eyed and bed-headed in-a-few-hours-a-kindergartener little girl, and wrapped herself up in my bathrobe. I thought I was ready to let go and send her off today, but at that very moment, when I realized those kinds of snuggles won’t be happening much after 8:15, well, what can I say. I squeezed tight.
I woke up my son who followed me down stairs, in hand his new Nike skate shoes still in the box, his clothes in a neat pile, all picked out. But he was bummed out. Not that it was the first day of school, or anything. But no power meant he couldn’t have his Toaster Struedel for breakfast. Now THAT sucks.
We made do with boiled water on the Coleman propane stove — we are now pros from Irene’s four-day power outage. A little oatmeal, some hot cocoa and my son was in better spirits.
I made the lunches quick as I could without opening the fridge for too long. They were done and we were ready to head out the door. My son looked handsome in his chosen digs and my daughter, well she was just happy to have her Skechers Twinkle Toes light up sneakers. We were happy, too. They added a little light to our dark morning.
We headed to our driveway and took some photos, and waited for the bus in the intermittent drizzle. And waited. And waited some more.
Finally, at 8:20 we kind of thought the bus might not actually come and, since school is supposed to start at 8:25, we drove them.
They were reluctant passengers.
And I was a reluctant mom.
It’s not fair that I don’t get to see my kindergartener get on that big yellow bus as she begins her school career. We had that milestone with our son and I remember clearly what he was wearing and how he waved and his bus driver’s name and me bawling my eyes out in the driveway as I waved after him.
But now because of some bus snafu, we had to drive them today.
And when we got school at 8:24, my son jumped out and waved and then my daughter was whisked away by a staff someone who walked her into her new school. No looking back. No kiss. No tears. No nothing! It happened too fast and I was left in the drop off circle with my husband shaking my head and feeling gipped. NOT FAIR!
Tomorrow is another day. I’ll store up my tears until then when I can see her wave to me from that yellow bus. Until the moment I see her sitting next to her big handsome fourth grade brother on the bus –who we made swear that he’d protect his baby sister from any and all bad things that could be said/done/thought by other kids on that short bus ride around the corner to school.
Tomorrow I’ll cry.
Happy First Day of School.