Back to school, better late than never | The Life of K: Back to school, better late than never

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to school, better late than never

Today I took my little man to meet his teachers. He is in senior kindergarten this year and doesn't start until Thursday. I know almost all kids are in school as of today, but I get to put it off just a little longer. Little J is excited and would probably have loved to start school today.

You know who isn't as excited? His sister. Little K has only known life with me and her brother home. She was born in this house, and into this family, and it hasn't changed much since. It's always been the three of us.

Last year when Little J was in junior kindergarten, we'd have lunch and go to the bus stop. The bus stop was usually a fun place, with lots of kids running around and playing, but then the bus would come and Little J would hop on. Little K and I would walk home together, her in my arms more often than I'd like to admit, and spend the next 3 hours the two of us. Those three hours could be some of the longest hours ever when, after being home not even 20 minutes, Little K would be asking to go back to the bus stop. You could see her heart breaking when I told her that her brother wasn't at the bus stop and wouldn't be at the bus stop for a few hours. This is when a nap would come in handy, but she'd practically given it up by then.

Summer came and we were together again, the three of us doing our thing: parks, the library, museums, playing in the backyard. But now tomorrow is our last day together. Summer is ending and school is about to start. I tried to pack in as much fun as I could this summer and I hope the kids had fun, but my mind has moved on to school supplies and backpacks and extra shoes. I'm thinking about teachers and labels and what to pack for lunch. My little guy is thinking about his friends and his new classroom and new teachers. My little girl is sad.

She talks about how she's going to miss her brother every day. He gets sad and talks about how he's going to miss being home with us. I get sad thinking about how it's possible I have a kid who's old enough to be in school full days. But I'm excited for him at the same time. School is good for him. I know he's going to have fun, make friends, and learn all sorts of things, just like last year. Seeing his face light up when we were sitting in those impossibly small chairs today, spelling out his name and drawing a picture of himself for his new teachers, solidified it for me. He's ready.

Little K might not be ready, but Thursday is her first day too. She's starting preschool. It's the same one Little J went to last year at the community center in our neighbourhood. It's for 2 hours 2 mornings a week. Because of everything else going on, we've hardly talked about it and I wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing for Little K. With Little J it was his first time doing something without me and I don't think we explained it well enough. He spent the entire first day looking around for me. Little K saw her brother go to preschool for 6 months last year, and lived through an entire school year without him around in the afternoons. Without it being spelled out for her, I think she understands.

My mama heart understands that for the first time since before Little K was born, I'm going to get some regular, scheduled time to myself during the day. Two hours two times a week both my kids will be in school. How is that possible? My babies are all grown up, but not really. Little J spent all afternoon calling me Mama and Little K is always looking for a kiss. Even when they're in school and preschool, they're still my babies.

I'll be celebrating our firsts this Thursday, taking pictures and holding back tears, wondering where the time has gone.

Disclaimer: Staples asked me to talk about my firsts when it came to back to school and compensated me for this post. The writing is all my own. They have also generously given me some school supplies to donate to Sharing in Student Success, a program in Ottawa that gives supplies to children that need them. I'm very impressed with Staples and their commitment to supporting students. 


  1. It's amazing how bonded siblings are. I empathize with you. They are so lucky to have each other. They will always be your babies and mommies are always allowed to cry the first week of school ;)

  2. My heart knows this feeling all too well. When Mr. Smith and I dropped Little. A off at JK (full days at 3 1/2 years old!) we both walked away crying. It's a new chapter, with new things to look forward to...but there is definitely a crossing over...

  3. I will in your boat next year when my youngest starts all-day JK. My little guy and her are best friends, and I know he will be asking where she is all day when this happens.

    How are you doing with all of the free time you have on your hands? I hope you are enjoying it and making the most of it with some "K Time!"

  4. We had two big firsts this school year too ... Grade 7 (high school!) at a new school and Grade 1 (no more carpet time!)