Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The God of housewivery and school districts.
The first day at our new school has finally arrived.
Our new district had an extra long spring break, and with Mike being around most of last week, and taking the kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, and visiting family and spending a day with friends at the lake, and sleeping in and playing Wii...well, it just felt like we would never go back to school ever again, instead opting to live out our days casually and without math homework. Spring break was the PERFECT buffer between old and new, and in all his wisdom of the world, God knew that. Does it blow your mind that he knows the ridiculous details of housewivery, and the things like nervousness over new schools that keep us up at night? I mean, there are people fighting wars and children starving in places all over the globe, and he is still intimately involved in how I'm gonna assimilate into my nice, new midwestern suburb.
About the time that I would have started to get nervous for my kids, I became distracted with cleaning out their back packs and shaking out all the sand that had collected at the bottom (no really, WHERE does sand come from in a grade school without a sandbox???). G picked out a new dress, and I made sure we had four sets of clean socks. I stocked their pencil cases and attempted to send them all to school with a full set of markers, because I felt like I needed to set the tone for our first day, and attempt to portray myself as someone that has GOT THIS (if only for the first week). We were ready.
We got to our new school early, because I'm not used to having a 2 minute commute; but it was a beautiful morning and we got to sit outside and be with our kids for a few minutes. They were calm, really. Not noticeably nervous at all, which is a big sign of maturity and confidence for Big J, who struggles with change. We found our classrooms, and our teachers, and our classmates who have been WAITING for the Denckhoffs to arrive. L was greeted with pictures and a hand-picked bouquet of flowers; Big J was surrounded by new friends. It became apparent that switching their schools with nine weeks left in the year was the GREATEST decision we could have ever made, because the kids in their classes have been waiting for them for weeks. They are so wanting to be helpful to my kids. They are so excited to share what they know.
Mike and I didn't hang around for very long, because we didn't want them to remember that this is a big change and suddenly...freak the hell out. I'll never forget leaving G on the first day at Bristol, and how hard she had to fight to hold it together; and that feeling, for her, is ONLY worse with us there. The anticipation of it all is ALWAYS worse than the change itself, and the sooner we leave, the sooner our kids get on with it. This morning, they just happened to get on with it in 10 seconds flat.
At pick-up, I waited with my best friend, who now lives three blocks away--which is so ODD for me, because I've never gone into a school knowing someone well. I'm used to painting large spirit week banners or planning whole-school art events in order to get people to NOTICE ME. Just kidding, my biggest fear in the world is that people will NOTICE ME. But you know what I mean--making the effort to be on a social radar. I'm not saying that in any sort of negative or snotty way, but with the understanding that there are a MILLION different things we do and hear and see in a day, and sometimes making new friends in a new place means joining a committee, or leading one, or just showing up to something. You know, making it EASY for others to get to know you and form some kind of connection. But here, I have great friends on day #1, and it all feels so familiar, even if I would have trouble locating a single bathroom in the entire school.
The kids had a GREAT day. The twins were spoiled by their classmates, Little J made a new friend, and G knows some girls from her swim team last summer. One of my friends checked in on them when she dropped her kids off, and two others (and their kids) gifted them with notes and pencils in their classrooms today, which upped their reputation to rock star status, of course. G is farther along in math, which gives her (and me) some academic confidence--because I'm sure it's hard to be the kid that comes in new and struggles to keep up. We didn't have to bring in a single school supply, and it looks like this transition is really going to be just that easy.
And also, I found 98% of my kids socks under their beds at my in-laws. Which will make finding four pairs of socks for tomorrow that much easier. Day #2, I got this.