It's the first day of school today. Duh. Have you checked your facebook news feed yet? Is it clogged up with first day of school pictures - brand new outfits, front door photos, pinterest inspired signs alerting the masses what grade each little one is starting? Or was that just mine?
I loved it. I woke up this morning, logged into facebook, and loved every single post from every single parent about this first day.
And because I am - was, not sure how to say that - a teacher, half my friends are the same so my feed was a nice little mix of first day updates from two of the main players: parents and teachers. Everyone feels the same way today: Nervous. Expectant. Excited.
It's an interesting feeling to have once been on the front lines of something so amazing and to suddenly be left behind and look at it from the outside and from new lenses. I wondered four months ago when I left teaching if today would be a breathtakingly hard day - to know I'm missing out and that I'm really gone.
Just like everyone else, I suppose, I too was nervous, expectant, excited. Could I really transition to the stay at home life? Yes, I've been home for months now, but today felt like the real first day of being "just" a stay at home mom. My maternity leave took me right to the last day of school and then into summer vacation where I wouldn't have been working anyway. Now I'm finally at that moment where I should be working, where my friends are working, where my kids are learning, and it's all happening without me.
And I'm fine. I am so happy for my friends to be back doing what they are so good at. I'm so happy for my kids to be back in the classroom with new teachers who will introduce them to amazing things and I am so fine that it is happening without me. That's a good thing.
I have never been so sure of anything before.
Of course, there will be days that I miss it. Like today. There are already parts that I miss -- little parts -- that I know I may never have again or maybe I will but that will be years from now and I will be an older, different teacher when that time comes.
The first day of school was always the best. It's hurried. It's crazy. If you get to the bathroom even once or manage to eat your lunch sitting down - victory. I missed that today. I did.
And I know there's more that I'll miss as the year goes by.
I'll miss the smell of sharpened pencils sitting on desks. I'll miss the Cheez-its residue from after snack time. I'll miss singing Happy Birthday (with cha-cha-chas) twenty something times this year. I'll miss Chrysanthemum, Olivia, Knuffle Bunny, and Owl Moon. I'll miss reading books out loud, something I'm really, really good at. I'll miss holding wet hands and convincing myself it's "water" from the bathroom. I'll miss 2:30 pm walks to the office for life advice from the office manager. I'll miss jail breaks on Wednesday when I'd go "out" to lunch with my teacher friends. I'll miss all my songs that I'd sing - and put them away until Sam is ready. I'll miss laying on the floor of my teammates room after a rough day. Yes, I would do that. I'll miss that moment when they say "I love you" and squeeze you with a hug that all but knocks you over. I'll miss hearing about recess and the begging for free choice time. But most of all, I'll miss my friends. The teacher ones and the kids ones.
I am so blessed to have been a teacher and to have been trusted with so many little ones throughout the past seven years, but even more blessed to be entrusted with the one little one asleep in his crib upstairs. And that makes it all worth it.
Happy First Day of School, my teacher friends, my parent friends and my student friends.
May the year be everything you are hoping it will be with the idyllic eyes you are viewing it with right now.