This year marked the first year our girls would begin attending the same school together; Isabella in 2nd grade and Sofia in Kindergarten.
Sofia was initially quite nervous and unsure of what this experience would mean for her. I could see the questions forming.. Would she fit in? Would she make new friends? What about her old friends? How would she find her class?.. The questions were endless. I was proud to hear Bella begin reassuring her of all the wonderful new things Kindergarten had to offer. This little spark began to build in her eye and I knew she was going to LOVE Kindergarten. As she grew more and more excited, she flooded our breakfast room with a barrage of questions about field trips and lunch lines, P.E., not to mention all the rules and uniform guidelines.
One by one Bella flexed her big sister wings answering every concern. Frankly I never realized Bella had paid so close attention to whether striped socks were allowed or how the school was o.k. with no belts in the Kindergarten year. By this point, Sofia was so excited, she could barely contain herself. We ran down to the grocery store to buy a red apple to give the teachers and Sofie must have spent at least 20 minutes choosing the shiniest apple available. I hope that excitement never dies and that the shine for learning never leaves the apple of her eye.
As sisters go, these two have certainly been known to bicker like cats and dogs, but they have also shared far more together than with anyone else. They have learned so much from one another over the years and have grown to be each other's closest friend. When things are intense with their brother's needs, they seem to do well at talking about it together. They figure people outside the family might not understand. And then there are those times when for whatever reason one gets to go somewhere like a grandparent's house or a birthday party without the other and there is nothing more reassuring than to see them miss each other or run to the other explaining how it wasn't as much fun without having them there. Your heart nearly beats out of your chest.
So on that first morning back, I listened to this type of conversation all the while expecting to lose my emotions when they jumped out of my van. Suprisingly, I didn't even cry.
I watched them run off to the bus in the pouring rain and I felt this overwhelming relief pour over me.. and No, not relief that I would be getting a break from long summer days of 4 kiddos in the house! I was actually just releaved that at least if I could not be close to them myself during the day ahead, they would be close to each other. And close they are.. only a few doors between them. This made the transition all the easier for Sofia. I only followed them to school that first day and each morning thereafter, Bella walked Sofia to her class. As I watched Sofie race to catch up with her big sis and climb those tall bus steps, I realized it won't be that awfully long before they follow each other to college or lead each other down the aisle as Maid of Honor at their weddings. I hope they stay close in the years ahead. It is such a blessing to have a sibling to share life experiences.
It has also been nice having their cousin Keenan at the same school. They typically don't see him enough between everyone's busy schedules and as we now will be helping to care for him some of the afternoons, we look forward to some fun bonding ahead. I can see that this year will bring them closer.
Picking them up at the bus stop that afternoon, I thanked God for the gift of children with easy smiles on their first day, and that I have the privledge of hearing them gush over every detail of their day. This year looks like it will certainly be a good one!