First day of school. The times they are a changing. This school year is bringing plenty of change. When we bought this house 8 years ago we chose it because it fit our entire family, including a nice apartment for my mother. The girls were little and at the time, finding space for all of us was our main focus. It just so happened that this house was across the street from a lovely, little junior public school. So, when the time came for my eldest daughter to start school we only needed to hop-skip and jump across the street.
We had no idea how important that school would become for our family. Over the years the parents we met became our friends. Through the years that my mom was undergoing cancer treatments, I could depend on the teachers and parents. After my mom’s passing, the schoolyard was a comfortable space to play and play and play. Who knew a school could be so important?
I have spent countless hours in the rain, snow and sunshine chatting with other moms while our kids played in the schoolyard.
This year everything changes.
My eldest daughter set off for middle school this morning. A predictable move, that we all knew was coming. Her walk to school will take a little longer and she’ll have to cross a few more busy city streets, but she’s ready for it and so am I. It is amazing how the kids in her class have outgrown the schoolyard. It seems like a natural progression for them to leave and move on.
On the other hand, my youngest daughter is off to a new school. I guess I’ve always known there was a possibility that this change would come. My daughter is heading into the gifted program and I am very excited for her. However, the change means that she will be riding in a school bus. No longer is her school a hop-skip and jump away. Her new school is much further away and for a mom without a car, it feels like a whole world away.
We waited at the school bus stop this morning, my little one, nervous and excited – me, nervous and excited. As the bus drove up, she squeezed my hand a little tighter. “Mom, pass me my backpack. It’s my bus. Time to go.”
After the bus drove off and I had dropped my eldest daughter at her new school, I walked home through our old schoolyard. I decided not to walk through the bustling cluster of parents and children. I knew this was their time to have their “first day of school” moments. So, I shuffled my way past, stopping for a moment to watch the new flock of parents and children claim their space in the schoolyard.
It’s not my schoolyard anymore…I could feel it in my heart.
Of course, we will stop and play in the field and in the playground. My daughters will hang out with their friends and I’ll still chat with the moms. But, it’s not our schoolyard anymore. It is time for us to move on and for new families to fill the space we’ve left open.
My daughters tell me “Mom, you always say everything is an adventure.” It’s true. That’s how I feel about life. Every challenge, every experience, every single day we wake, up is a new adventure. Today, we started a new adventure.
Only time will tell how this adventure will unfold for our little family. All I know is I can’t wait to check out the new schoolyard.