The night before the first day of school is much like Christmas eve. The kids have a hard time falling asleep in anticipation of what awaits them the next day. Last night was was particularly big -- one child nervous about starting middle school and one excited to begin his last year at elementary school.
This morning, Robert drove Alexander ("call me Alex") to elementary school today where he begins his last year there. He's now a big fifth grader, asking if his clothes match, putting gel in his short hair. The kindergartners look so small in comparison to these 5th graders. And their parents looked so worried, compared to the seasoned parents of older kids. I remember the first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday...
I drove Katrina to middle school (her first day as a 6th grader). She wanted to ride the bus, but since I'm leaving town for the week, she let me drive her there today. She also let me park the car and walk her to the front door. We walked hand-in-hand from the car UNTIL we turned the corner to the front of the building where there were 100 or so kids milling around waiting for the bell to ring so they could enter the building. When she let go of my hand, she said, "Now mom, don't say anything to embarrass me!" Katrina has never said that before and MEANT it, and I confess to being a bit incredulous. "What would I say that would embarrass you, honey?" I asked. "Just use your good judgment, mommy, I trust you." she replied.
Note to self: kids do remember what you say to them and they will quite smugly turn your phrase back on you!