The First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for my girls. They are enrolled at the International School of Breda.

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This is a new school (opened in 2011), and even many residents here don’t know it exists!  It’s a very small school compared to what we are used to.  In Houston the girls would have gone to an elementary school (K-5th) that had ~1,100 kids.  At the international school, there are about 250 – 300 kids IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL preschool through 12th grade!  But it is growing and growing, and they are building a new school that will hopefully open next year to accommodate more students.

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The first day of school is usually a day kids loathe to come and parents love to come!  Summers are great for sure, but if your family is anything like mine…the bickering, the whining, and the constantly being under foot can get on your last nerve by the last few weeks of summer.  It makes for great daydreaming of that first day of school.

If you are like me, then your daydream might go something like this…The kids get up and ready and out the door on time in perfectly laundered clothes.  Their lunches look like some picturesque bento box you saw on Pinterest with every food group represented, along with a perfect healthy and filling snack.  They go off to their classrooms with a wave of their hand and a smile on their face.  You go back home to a quiet peaceful house where you have time to pick up that book you have been dying to read.  Or you can go to the gym and get a great workout in before having to pick up kids from school.

But reality is usually much, much different.  Alarms go off, but no one gets out of bed.  You have to yell at the kids for the 5th time to go brush their teeth.  The clothes they laid out the night before have magically disappeared/gotten dirty overnight/no longer fit.  They can only find one shoe.  The lunches are thrown together and you hope that at least one piece of fruit makes it into the box.  Oh yeah, don’t forget some sort of snack.  You wanted to miss the first-day-of-school traffic, but end up leaving 15 minutes later than you planned to and then are caught in the traffic you were hoping to miss. You finally arrive, and the kids become teary eyed and glom onto your arm and when you tell them goodbye, there is a sucking sound when you are finally able to pry them off you.  And as you walk away, you have your own tears.  But they aren’t tears of joy.  They are a mixture of tears of sadness and astonishment at how fast your kids are growing up.  And as you drive away and arrive home to that quiet and peaceful house, you realize it’s a little too quiet.  A little too peaceful.  A little sad.  Then you see the book on the table you’ve been dying to read.  And as you walk to the table to pick it up to read it, you trip on the lost shoe from this morning.  Then you see the pile of clothes that need folding on the couch. And notice the floor could use a good mopping.  Then there’s the lunches and snacks that are needed for the next few days – better run to the grocery before picking up the kids.  And before long, the wonderful relaxing day that you had planned for the first day of school, has turned into the reality of having a family.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.


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