11 down, 1 to go...

Today is the first day of school in our Lil' town USA. The days are growing shorter. The leaves are thinking about starting to turn. The School Buses are crowding the country roads between the tall corn fields and the apple orchards that are about a week away from harvest.

And by 5:30 this morning the blow dryers were humming, the tunes were cranked. I stumbled half asleep to the kitchen, feeling blindly for the coffee pot. I gulped my coffee, listening to the cacophony of music, blow dryers and teenaged girls chatting eachother up in the bathroom mirror.  

First Day has really changed.

This is Grace's 11th "first day" of school. Beth's 9th. They are both in High School now. Was it that long ago that we were packing their "Hello Kitty" backpacks, and hunting around for the other "cowgirl boot" under the bed? How high can we get that pony tail today? Remember sitting out on the front porch because we were ready 20 minutes early for the school bus? And then, finally, some other kids started to arrive so we could dash out and chat about school and what's going to happen in 1st grade.

And suddenly the bus comes around the corner. And the door opens. And the older kids start to jump on, running down to the back of the bus. The younger ones also jump on enthusiastically, with maybe one or two more timid kids hanging back, happy to wait their turn. I was a little worried that Grace might balk. First Grade. Getting on the bus without Mommy, or Beth, or Daddy.  Surrounded by big kids, and rules and...then Grace turns to me, just before she steps up onto the bus and says, "Don't worry Mommy. I've been waiting for this all my life."

LKR

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