I've been able to breathe a sigh of relief long enough now to actually take it in: my second baby girl is now in elementary school.
The tears and fears that accompanied Norah to school were only a momentary lump in my throat for Avery as she walked confidently with her class into her new classroom on the first day. She is so thrilled to head off to big girl school.
So much so, that when she boarded the bus earlier this week, she hopped right up and on- Norah following in her fearless footsteps. So much so that she shouted emphatically last night, " I have homework!" and then gleefully pulled the big white packet out to start working on, tracing big letter A's with precision and ease. So much so that, without ever being asked, she carefully unzipped her new backpack to pull her lunchbox from it and set it right on the kitchen counter after school; a routine she has silently, longingly watched Norah do for 2 whole years now.
She is soaking so much in. She's come home each day armed with the facts she so loves to recite to us all. She told me on the first day, "I have a new bestest friend in the whole world." But, when I asked her her new friend's name, she giggled, "I guess I don't remember," shrugging it off with a smile.
As for Norah, 2nd grade is off to a slow and serious start. She seems more pensive and grown up, focused and determined, self-conscious and self aware. 2nd grade feels more like middle school than I was expecting.
And the babies and I have been adjusting to a new routine at home, too. Grant scooting and stepping all over the clear, calm space. Curious and wide eyed. Wondering, I'm sure, why it suddenly got so quiet in our house. Harper, newly potty training, marching through the house with her butt cheeks exposed and a little bag around her shoulder she proudly calls her, "person." This morning, she climbed up onto the sofa, bare bunned to wave goodbye to her sisters as they walked to the bus stop with friends, and I had to giggle knowing that from her top half (what could be seen from out the window) it looked to be a normal scene- but from my view (behind her) her little butt cheeks could be seen just under the window frame.
We are settling down around here and settling in. School, home, friends, Fall: the bus stop, lunch boxes, the playground, the warmth of home and dinner on the stove, bubbly baths, and chapter books. The solid-lights-out-deep-sleep-of-exhaustion-from-the-day season. This is my favorite time of year, and I can feel it, this is going to be a good one.