See You After School

School prep began two days before school started. We began with hair cuts. My cutting station was in place when Vitali told me he didn't want his long cowboy hair anymore, but he wanted a buzz cut instead. Aaron stood up immediately and said, "I'll do it!". So I grabbed my camera and captured a few pictures of my wild long-haired redhead before he chopped it off.

The night before school I picked out the boys outfits and made sure everything was ready in their backpacks. I woke up early to make them waffles. Their favorite snacks and lunches were slowly spread, cut, and bagged with love. But why did I feel so nervous? I felt like I had to jump to the next chapter when I liked the one I was in. I wasn't sure how Vitali would do with longer hours at school. Would Elias have a potty accident? I wondered how Pia would be without her brothers all day, she does everything with them.

I took one last deep breath while my boys walk out the door. I snapped pictures through blurred vision and felt proud of how far we have come as a family. When we found Vitali's classroom he hung up his backpack and found his seat. I watched him look down at the name tag on his desk then look up at me with a big smile. My heart skipped a beat when I kissed him goodbye. 

I felt my throat tighten as we walked Elias to his class. I wasn't worried about the teacher or the program Elias would be a part of, I was feeling the weight of adjusting to another new season. Elias has new teachers that will have to get to know him all over again, and that takes time. 

We opened the door to Elias' class and he immediately dropped to the floor in army crawl position. He crawled through the room investigating his new surroundings. When something seemed interesting to him he would stand up, check it out, then drop to the floor to find the next familiar looking toy. I pressed my lips to his forehead and choked back tears, "I love you Elias, I'll see you after school!"

The last two days of school have been good. My boys are adjusting faster than I am, and I am trusting that this new chapter will be perfect for our family. Change is usually challenging for me, especially when it is change for my kids. But I have seen how it has made all of us stronger.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls