We are into our third week of school, with Willem in Kindergarten and Nels in second grade. Willem picked out his first-day-of-school outfit from his very small stash of new clothes. He has worn it every first day of every week so far. He'd wear it more, but I don't do the laundry that often. "Mom, did you wash my spider shirt?" will be the regular refrain of the 2011/2012 school year.
It feels HUGE to have both boys in the same school. It's a milestone I never thought would arrive. I didn't think I'd get teary-eyed on the first day, though, and that's because I was just thinking of it as the start of something new. What I'd forgotten is that the first day of Kindergarten is really more like a graduation. And graduations always make me cry.
I cried because we've made it through so much together to get to the point where I can wave and confidently send those boys off to be in the care of others for the day. (Or half-day, as the case may be.)
I thought of the surgeries and illnesses we've weathered (five surgeries and one case of viral meningitis among us.) I remembered my ultimately unsuccessful struggle to breastfeed both boys when they were babies, and all of the worry that caused me. I remember being lonely and sleepless and feeling like that time in our lives would never come to an end.
And yet here we are! It ended! We did it, little family. We raised up two boys this far, two boys who are happy and ready to step out. I couldn't be prouder of them. Happy graduation to us.