September 02, 2015
School Days

As September begins, I can't help but be nostalgic for the start of school. It is a bittersweet time of year.

No matter who you are, fall signals the change in activities, things seem to become less casual  and more intense.  The start of school was a time that I grew to love. When Molly, my #1, was ready to go off to her first day, not nursery, but the "take the bus kind of school", I was an emotional mess.  The way the busing worked, my sweet, precious, little girl would be riding the bus with middle schoolers to their school, then switch to another bus to continue onto her Elementary School.  I was sure she would never be able to make the switch; I hired the neighbor girl to sit with her and ensure Molly made it the whole way.  

Control is my middle name, and I had it all planned out from door to door.  Jim, the more rational member of the family, made me promise that I would not take Molly to school OR follow the bus.  Well, this promise was going to be broken and we both knew it.  I not only followed the bus, I was almost attached to the bumper, crying the whole way. 

I thought I was invisible, in my Mini Winnebago, but not so. Molly saw me and started crying as well.  When we got to the middle school I parked a bit away to watch the transfer, she saw me, ran to me and in one of the most difficult moments of my life, I walked her to the bus, put her on the stairs, and walked away, leaving her alone, on a bus with other kids going to school.  Soon she stopped crying and started making new friends. I cried all the way home, then gathered myself together enough to call Jim. By the sound of my voice, he thought Molly had been run over by the bus.  

Fast forward 15 years, 7 other first days, and Tess.  We now lived in Deephaven, Tess was set to attend St.Therese with her siblings, and the School announced that they would be having Full Day Kindergarten for the first time ever.  Sign-ups opened a month before school began, and space was limited. Registration started at 8 AM; we were the first in line, at 6:55.  The woman registering knew our family and asked if this was a traumatic, sad time in my life. I nodded solemnly and said it was. Once she was out of sight; I clicked my heels and walked out the door.  

In truth, I am not sure if it was Tess or I who was more thrilled.  Me for a bit of quiet time or Tess because she was bored spending the day with me!

Happy Back to School!

Colleen Ryan