First day of fourth grade and second grade. Nels was nervous, Willem was not.
I got better pictures, but they had weird(er) expressions in all of those.
We had to be at school early today, which wasn't a problem. The boys always bounce out of bed on the first day. The second day is an uglier story. We went early because almost a third of the students at our school are new this year (due to boundary changes), and I volunteered to help welcome new families and answer any questions they might have. In a stroke of luck, I was assigned to work the Kindergarten hall.
If there's any better way to start a school year than by watching a bunch of parents walk their Kindergartners to class, I don't know what it is. The first to arrive were a father and son. The dad was dressed for the office in slacks and a button-down shirt. They walked hand in hand down the hall and entered a classroom. I could see the dad, son, and teacher chat for a few minutes, and then the dad turned to leave. The teacher put her arm around the boy's shoulders. The dad left and passed by me in the hallway. He looked at me, and his eyes were glistening.
He said, "That's hard."
As I caught up with friends and waved at students and joked with teachers, I was surprised to realize how many people I know, and how connected I am for someone who has a bad habit of thinking of herself as an outsider. I should stop doing that.
I was planning to go home once school started, but one of the superstar PTA moms (she's also my neighbor) had collected a trunk full of donated school supplies from her church and needed some help getting them to the right kiddos. I loved that: see a need, meet it. So I stayed for a bit.
Once I finally left school I went downtown to return a library book. I planned to go to the local coffee house for a free "back-to-school" mimosa, but, being alone, I chickened out.
I did go back to the school in the afternoon to help (the same hard-working mom) organize some new books they got over the summer. School is way more fun when you don't have to go. I'd say we all had a great first day.