This year's First Day of School is a little different from previous years. In the past, we've made much of the offspring sending them off with special breakfasts, taking scads of pictures despite the protests of the subjects, and generally drawing out the morning before relinquishing the kids to another year of public education. Not so much the plan today.
Rolling out of bed at 4:30, and the mister was already up, covered in mosquito repellant, and headed out to walk the dogs. Middle Child had to be pried from her covers just after 5:00 (per her request last night) to hit the shower. Today the Boy gets to sleep in sinnce schedules won't be handed out until 6:45 at the high school, but every other morning will require him to arrive at 6:00 a.m. ready for Cross Country practice. Little Bit will have to be roused somewhere in the six o'clock hour as well. By 7:15 we'll drop off Middle Child for Cross Country, and Little Bit can arrive at the elementary any time between 7:15 and 7:40.
We are not taking First Day of School photos in the dark. The only thing special about today's breakfast is that the mister and I are going out for ours' as soon as our precious youngest child steps onto the pavement during our rolling stop through the carpool lane. Not that we love them any less than we did on those first days of school when we devoted an extended morning ritual to celebrating this annual rite of passage. We are coming to accept that the teens are less comforted by those rituals and more embarrassed by them these days. The tween informs us of those ceremonies which she considers important to mark, and this is not one. She didn't really want us hanging about on her first day of kindergarten. And told us so.
Maybe I'll just go put out the cereal stuff and some fruit... kind of a nod to days past that doesn't trample all this early-morning hormone-driven independence. One or two pictures might even be okay... because sometimes the habits are still important. As long as the Embarrassing Mom behaviors that can be observed by others is kept to a bare minimum a compromise might just work out since the whole herd of offspring will only be half awake anyway.