How do I take a picture of that?

All of my kids went to school today.

Sound the bells. Pop the cork. Put on a party hat.

Let me share with you the wonderful pictures of how the back packs were all set the night before and how the kids slept happily in their beds, visions of new teachers and friends dancing in their heads. Look at the cute breakfast photos around the table. Get ready to see the smiling faces, one at a time by our tree in the front yard, compared to the same picture I took last year of the big kids. Watch their cute little feet travel up the steps on the bus, smiling over their shoulders and waving good bye to mom and dad waiting at the corner bus stop. And lastly, be envious of the shots of me and Brian going out for a wonderful, quiet brunch after the little ones were off for the day.

It was a dream. We had talked about it for years (8.5 or so years) – The Day They All Go To School! Ta DAH!!!

Well, I can’t show you those back packs (which had been packed for a week, mind you, all 90 minutes worth of forms I filled out stuffed in the correct folder, in the correct backpack). I could have tried to take a picture, but see the power was out and it was dead dark from 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm Monday night.

Funny joke eh? Especially for those of us who survived the storm of July 21, 2016.

I also didn’t take a picture of them because about 20 Scholastica students were in my house from 5pm – 8:19pm. They ate, got trained in how to change the world (in under 90 minutes) and left about 5 minutes before the power went out.

We managed to get most of the chairs and tables, plates and red Solo cups (wouldn’t be a college party without them!) of the deck before the downpour. But the house was a mess. The dishwasher not started (no power). And who knows what else wasn’t finished. Dead dark.

Found the candles and stupidly told Calista we needed to be careful so we didn’t start her desk on fire so we would have to blow them out before we went to sleep. Between the threat of fires in her bedroom, occasional trees falling on her home and the random lightening strike blowing out the nearby transformer, plus the excitement of day 1 as a 3rd grader, funny – she wasn’t asleep until at least 10:00. So no picture of her asleep… I was practically asleep by the time she was.

Practically.

By 10:00 XS managed to wake himself up and complain about his leg. This happens about once a month. It’s the mystery leg disease that pops up. Then he got so hot he wanted the fans back on or a nightlight. Yep. Me too.

Hard to take a picture of a sleeping kid when he’s not asleep.

— by 10:15 Elam wanted to join the party too. Or at least go to the bathroom. He couldn’t get the lights on and sleepwalked and talked with dad about why the lights wouldn’t turn on. He was so angry about it.

About 10:30/50 the power came back on.

Then Brian came to bed and wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep (had to Tweet his Bible study) and I lost it. I just wanted peace and quiet. And seriously after the long night we had and the power finally coming back on and turning our fans back on, I was ready for sleep.

Don’t ask why the sound of the fans puts me to sleep and the small clicking of his thumb on the circle button of the iPhone keeps me awake. It just does.


Tuesday 6:00 AM my alarm goes off.

Boys wake up. Happily. Snuggles and excitement.

XS gets dressed and eats breakfast as if he’s done this a million times. Rocks it.

Big kids. Not so much.

You wouldn’t have wanted a picture of Brian and me retelling the big kids from about 6:25am – 7:00 am that we were going to be late. Eat your pancakes. Stop giggling. Stop staring at each other.

It was 35 minutes of ugly.

7:00 am Calista is in the bathroom, brushing teeth. Elam’s laces are knotted.
7:02 we race out the door with backpacks in hand.
7:02:35 I make them stop for this photo. Enjoy it. It’s all you’re gonna get.

2016day1ofschool

7:02:45 Brian sees the bus at the top of the hill. We are supposed to have bus arrival at 7:04 but last year the first week it was late. All of those parents taking pictures…

Where the heck were they now? You were on Facebook posting pictures but somehow your kid doesn’t ride my kids’ route.

The bus is coming down hill and we have about a 90 second race down hill to make it in time … maybe.

“She is never going to stop at our driveway Brian! It’s the first day! Maybe it isn’t even our old bus driver.”

Brian races across the street (it’s almost black outside by the way since it was foggy from the rain). Called C to come across until I look down hill and see a van racing up the hill, trying to get her kid to school on time I’m sure. But going fast enough that I thought we were going to be short one kid in the future.

“STOP!” I yelled. She actually listened.

And another miracle happened: the bus driver stopped! At our driveway!

And as I apologized, she said, “Hey its the first day of school!” and looking at XS says, “and who is this? A new student?” “His name is Tobiah” I said. “I’ll never remember that one!”

Well, let’s be nice to her since she stopped.

My 3 kids raced up into the bus and she drove away so fast I felt like I had been run over.

You know that feeling when you’re about to leave on vacation and you’re racing? You’ve forgotten the tickets (ok pretend it’s 1999). You left your book in the bathroom (1999 we didn’t have the Kindle). Your stroller wheels are locking. Your flight has been moved up to an earlier time than you remembered. Your kid has to pee and you don’t let him stop at the potty.

and you just keep telling yourself “when you sit down on the plane you’ll relax and then vacation starts.”

I never really got to sit down on the plane today.

When we got to the Y (late of course) Brian and I got the last sets of weights. Good thing we wanted to go heavy today and all the suckers (just kidding … sort of) who slacked all summer left them for us. It was packed.

I told my friend it had been a rough morning. Brian and I barely had time to sit down and eat the eggs I scrambled for us. I was cleaning up from last night’s party and he was fixing clocks and the wifi.

We didn’t take a picture of us horking our eggs.

I did have time to eat a corner (or 3) of the pb, cococa, zucchini brownies that have become my obsession. It was that kind of morning.

But when I told her, she gave me a big hug (this was before the sweating).

Then I lifted my dumb bells, did everything Anna told me to do and about half way through class I found my moxie.

Before 4:54 all 3 kids had had tantrums. I broke a sweat getting dinner started. I made a soup for XS lunches. I ate a waffle. (I even went for a walk to get away from it all while dinner cooked – the day my kids were all away at school for the first time and I needed a walk by 4:15pm. What kind of mother am I?)

I didn’t take pictures of much today. Not sure if that will bother me and tmrw I’ll make up for it or not.

But it went so fast, you know? The morning yes.

But the parenting kids 24/7/365. It went fast.

And I’m not sure taking pictures will really help me process all that this means:
my kids are in school all day now.

I’m at home. Working part-time. Brian is leading the charge on many campuses this fall.

And our kids are not here much anymore.

Maybe it is fitting to not have pictures …

* disclaimer: Kudos to all of you disciplined enough, with your flexible schedules to spend extra time with your spouse, your bestie or your other kids still at home. And kudos for the pics of it. No offense intended. I normally would have a lot of pictures too. If I didn’t just have an epic bad morning. Seriously epically bad.

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