first day

"Is it daytime yet?", asked my 5-year old son as we walked around the side to the front doors of school this morning.

"Yes, it is", I answered as he looked up at the sky and continued to wonder why it's still a bit darker than usual. With the carefree days of summer now behind us, the strict routine of school days lies ahead.

The new morning routine was successful. Even my oft dawdling boy was on time and ready to start his first day of kindergarten alongside his sister's first day of first grade.

In the meantime, the oldest called me on Skype from Berlin to show me her blue striped dress she wore on her first day of third grade, followed by holding up her new black and red plaid "Irish" dress Oma got her for her second day of school tomorrow. I'm sure she meant "Scottish" as she mentioned that it reminded her of the kilt she got last Christmas from my trip to Scotland last November. The dress she plans on wearing with her "high heeled" black boots, also from Oma, and remind her of my black boots (although she claims her boots are better due to the metal studded buckles). I told her I will bring my boots when I visit her in October during her autumn break. She was delighted at the thought we'd be "twins".

Afternoon pickup, however, was a different story. Cars lined up and around the main street, at times idle enough to turn off the car and sit in the 98F (36C) degree weather. At one point, I made a phone call to the school office to ask if the line was going to move anytime soon. I was assured that it would, but locating confused children was the issue on this first day. After 35 minutes (a one-minute journey on any other day), I made it to the driveway of the school entrance wondering the entire time what possessed me to opt for car pickup instead of simply letting the children get on the bus.

"We will never do this again", I assured the children as they questioned my taking so long to pick them up.

"Will we go on the bus tomorrow?", asked my son as we walked into the house.

"Yes", I replied and his loud outburst of "yay!" was followed by jumping up and down for joy.

With the first day over, a new chapter in our lives begins.