Today is the first day of school for most in Michigan. The past week I have found myself dealing with small waves of mourning and questioning our decision to homeschool.
I saw parents and students flock 'our' elementary school eager for meeting teachers and touring the new improvements to the building.
I saw families out and about over the weekend, making memories and celebrating the end of summer- as if once the clock struck 8 am this morning all of those fond times will soon be a distant memory.
I hear the eagerness (and relief) in many mom's voices over the thought of some well deserved peace and quiet while their kids were away.
I see the neighborhood children gathering at the end of the driveway with their shiny new shoes and sparkling backpacks, with a little sleep in their eyes, board the bus that will take them to their next 'year' of life.
I have been witness to so much transition and cannot help but lament what we are missing, even though I know its trivial in comparison to what we are gaining. I am sad to miss out on those first day butterflies. It is weird to see empty lunch boxes on the top shelf of my cupboard. I have a strange emptiness not being there for those traditional rites of passage. Playground adventures. New Friends. Donuts with Dad. Muffins with Mom. Fundraisers (ok, maybe not that one!).
With the lament comes fear of judgement. Now my neighbors will know something is different. There is one less little girl at the bus stop. The children are outside playing at 10 am. What if they judge us?
I think in the end it is mourning the known. It is a desire to stay in the zone of what is expected. It is a wish for the safety net of 'what everyone else does'.
Change is not easy (especially when it means 'sacrificing' 6 hours of peace and quiet) and it can require time to go through the grieving process. But, thankfully, I have peace knowing that what is on the other side could be even better than what we are missing out on.