Friday, September 6, 2019

Back to School 2019

It's a big year for the Rych Fam - all 3 of our guys are off to full-time school! And while not all of us are admitting it or saying it in so many words, I think it broke all of our hearts a little bit. None of us really love being apart...though the quiet in my house during the day is something I'm not completely mad about. ;)

back to school decorations 2019

It's all just a little extra-emotional with Luke headed to middle school, Jake off to Kindergarten, Henry wrapping up his second-last year of elementary school. It feels like we went from having littles to having pre-teens in a heartbeat. How does this all just keep going faster?! (Also, no fair.)

In addition to this being the first year with everyone in school full-time, it's also the first year that everyone started on the same day. Which made it feel pretty jarring (for me, anyway). Especially considering I had to send my baby off into the world like some sort of micro adult (something I've never fully wrapped my head around about Kindergarten). Sigh. He was SO ready, though.

If you didn't know - we held him back from starting by a year. Not because of any delays or anything like that - just because his birthday is late in the year. There's so much research nowadays about little kids in general (but especially boys) adjusting to the institutionalized nature of school (what with all the common core garbage and stacks of worksheets and the loss of play) and we wanted to give him a little extra time to adjust. I was on the fence about it, but after seeing how incredibly READY he was on the first day of school, I knew we made the right choice.

How cute is their red carpet entrance?! Of course the sun was blinding everyone so us photographers struggled to get good shots.

See? All smiles and confidence...ready to get to work. Not a worry to be seen on his sweet little face. The whole family was there, settling him into his seat, patting him on the back, giving him last minute hugs and he looked at us like - what is wrong with you guys?? I've got coloring to do, see ya later!

I was definitely the worst of the bunch.

With Jake settled, we set out for the third grade hallway to drop Henry off at his new classroom. The interesting thing about this first day is that the two of my kids that were starting new schools only had an edge of nervousness to their buckets of excitement. It was Henry, who was still in the same school with his same buds and a teacher his big brother already had, that was a mess. He is the Mama's boy of the bunch (and it doesn't embarrass him for me to say that, he declares it proudly!) and he hates leaving me. Leading up to school he kept saying, "the worst part is leaving you!" So as we turned down the third grade hallway, he clung to my leg and the waterworks began. My poor guy.

You can see it on his face that he was not pleased. However, this was an improvement after we spent a few minutes putting his supplies in his desk and checking the names on the wall to see which friends would be in class with him. This cheered him up a bit and he was able to regain his composure for the most part. I won't share the super-sad one at his desk (his future self might not be so happy about that one), but the poor guy just wanted to stay home and cuddle! My sweet boy.

And then there was this guy - who, honestly, shocked me with his confidence. Luke has always been my anxious little worrier, and he was more calm and stable than I have ever seen him at the start of a school year. He was more nervous at the end of last school year! Most of his worries were cleared by going to 5th grade orientation in the middle of August. He got to see how the school works and what the other kids were like (our house is zoned strangely and most of the population of his school comes from a different elementary school with only a handful of friends from his elementary school coming with him).

I honestly think it's the freedom and responsibility of having his own locker, navigating to his classes on his own, being responsible for his own Chromebook, and taking a couple classes that he got to choose that's giving him this strength and a "let's do this" attitude. Luke's always done best with structured independence and middle school suits him in that way.

I'm SO proud of him. Not only for embracing all of this newness so well, but for the way he's done his best to encourage and bolster his brothers as they grow into their own forms of newness. He's still ten, and he has his moments, but this kid is growing into the best kind of leader. My little ones are so so lucky to have him as a big brother. I always tell them that - that he's going to be the one they call when they get in trouble and need help, and he will always say yes. That's just the kind of person Luke is. He's kind of my hero. :)

Once our cuties were all situated, Matt and I went to get some coffee and chat. It was so weird not having a little buddy tagging a long for a morning coffee date. But it was nice to just be adults and sit in the sunshine for a while.

Matt had to head back to work, but I continued on distracting myself. I had some Kohl's cash to spend so I went shopping! I ended up getting all new socks for each of the boys and some clearance sportswear that I know will still get use even with fall coming. (Ignore the hot mess nail polish, I went home and fixed it right after this, haha.)

A few of my friends were in the same boat and I spent some time chatting with them. I loved this message in particular - get you a friend that will make sure you're hydrated on a sad day! lol

Back at home, I re-painted my nails, cleaned up, baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an afterschool snack, wrote an emo post, and counted down the minutes until I could pick up my cuties.

I was stupid-early to pickup at the elementary school and I caught sight of Jake on the playground during recess. Right after I snapped this picture he saw me and waved (and actually, once he realized he could spot me in the parking lot, he's started watching for me on the playground each day this week and he waves before I've even finished turning in! haha). The little girl in front of him is my friend's daughter, so I sent her this photo too and we talked about how creeping on them makes us feel better. ;)

Jake and Henry were dismissed a few minutes later, and they came running over with big smiles on their faces and arms ready for hugs. They both had GREAT days! We had to wait a bit before we could pick up Luke, but he had a similar review of his first day - and the whole week has just been great! Everyone seems to be happy with their teachers and their classroom buddies (although Henry and his BFF were split up and he's a little sad about that). Overall, though - with so much newness and emotion this school year, we really lucked out with good arrangements.

And now we settle into the craziness of lunch packing and homework. That part is not my favorite! ;)

If you want to read the post I wrote in the middle of my first day sob-fest, click here, or you're curious about how I'm spending my time now that I've got an empty nest during the day, check out my writing blog here!

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like children had the fantastic first day. I remember my Lil sister's first day of school, she was very nervous on her first day. Saw your pictures in which Jake is looking quite happy and confident which is great.