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First Days and First...

First Days and First Grade

The morning begins like any other morning except it is the first day of school. I get up late, which is of course normal for me. Struggle to get Isaiah out of the bed, washed up, dressed, fed, and out the door on schedule—yet failing as usual (also normal for me). It’s okay though admitting you have a problem is the first step. And I am always running five minutes late. Always, always, always, no matter what I do it seems. Today we experience a series of delays thwarting our planned exit of 7:15 a.m. First Isaiah’s shoes are on the wrong feet, his socks are upside down, he smeared toothpaste on his shirt and spills a whole bowl of Fruit Loops on the floor just as we were about to leave.

I take deep breaths and try to relax. I am a mother. I can do many things, some of them all at once. I am superwoman. But I cannot control time. So I decide to let it go. Serenity now … I refuse to stress about the spilled cereal, the toothpaste stain, the mixed up shoes and upside down socks with the heel on the tops of his feet. We have to go right now, right this second or he will be late for school. When we arrive in front of the school it is complete pandemonium. Cars are parked on the sides of the street and in the grass. Hurried parents are escorting children across parking lots, up sidewalks and into the school. We have ten minutes before the first bell rings and Isaiah races me to front door. Alas we make it with minutes to spare. I hand the teacher his school supplies and tell him goodbye so that I can stop by the cafeteria and pay for his lunch before heading off to work. He is already sitting at the table with two other kids coloring worksheets. I give him a quick squeeze and a kiss on the cheek. “Mom” he says, “please doesn’t do that in public.”

I just laugh and say okay. On the way to work I call my nieces who are also getting ready for the first day of school to tell then to have a good day. And then I wonder where all the time went. When did I go from having a baby to a pre-schooler to a first grader? When did I go from the baby who squealed when he saw me and leapt into my arms when I came to pick him up from daycare, to this kid who is reading and writing and warning me against public displays of affection? Whoever said they grow up fast wasn’t kidding. But I think I have this mommy thing down a little bit now, you pick your battles, don’t sweat the small stuff, and try to savor every moment.

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