Back to School!

The crafting cabinet is stocked with Ticonderogas, pink pearls, and crayons.  The pantry is full of pretzels, apples, and whole wheat bread.  The backpacks are back and the swimsuits are stowed away. The Pioneer Children are back to school!


We love school around here.  We love notebooks and pencils, fancy pens, coloring and drawing and scissors.  We love friends and recess.  We lovelunch freshly packed in a fancy box.  We love standing by the door and waiting for the siblings to come home.  My little partner is on the floor playing Little People school bus right now, waiting for her turn to be off to school.

The littlest Pioneer Girl only turned four years old a few weeks ago, so she has had to say goodbye to the Fourth-Grader and Kindergartener every morning this week.  Preschool doesn’t begin until next week, so she has been Pioneer Mom’s partner these last few days, running errands to fill the hours and pick up the last-minute two-prong pocket folders and lunchbox treats.  We scheduled a playdate for the first day of school because we had an inkling it might be a little lonely.  That couple hours with a friend was crucial to suriving the first day.

Our Pioneer Boy started big boy school for the first time this year – my little-big Kindergartener.  It nearly breaks my heart to see that big backpack on that small body bouncing off to his classroom.  This morning he got out of the minivan, and then got back in for a good-bye hug, and then got out and ran to school, taking all of my feelings with him.

It’s day three today and I still sort of don’t know what to do with only one kid at home.  Roro doesn’t know what to do either.  She spent an hour this morning kicking a balloon around the kitchen.

Next week the real routine will start up — five full days of school for the big ones, preschool for the little one, homework and chores and piano lessons.  Next week I’ll start on those projects, too — the ones I had planned to do with all our free time this summer, the ones I quickly decided I’d wait to work on until the kids were in school.

I’m excited for the things we’ll be learning this year.  Juicy has been yearning to read on his own for months, and this year it will happen for him.  My Pickle has been invited into an advanced writing class, which is a little surprising to me given her disregard for capitalization and punctuation, but nevertheless it warms my heart.  I think it was in fourth grade in this very same school that my best friend and I wrote a six-page(!) story together that helped develop my love of writing.  What if my girl discovers she loves writing too?

We’ve been assigned wonderful teachers.  Ms. Fourth-Grade is being taught by a family friend who is in her first year with her own classroom, after having worked at the school in various capacities for the last 17 years.  We were next-door neighbors when I was young; I babysat her kids.  I know my daughter will be well loved at school — so well loved that I actually thought I better give the sweet teacher a mandate to lay down the law with my chatterbox and demand good behavior.

Kindergarten man is learning the ins and outs of school, running into old preschool friends on the playground, forgetting to bring home his lunchbox on the first day and his binder on the second day, but finding the bathroom every time.

And now it’s Friday and the afternoon carpool should be dropping them off any minute.  We’ll fill the weekend with family activities, church, maybe a few chores.  And then Monday, we’ll be…

back to school.