Well, it's here. School begins today. And every year, every year, I am so sad when school begins. I hate it when they go back! I love being home with them. I love playing together. I love doing our summer things or not doing anything. BUT. This year, for the first time ever, I'm really really happy to see them go back to school... partly because this means that my days will be a bit more mine again. Selfishly. I have done nothing but chauffer kids from one job to one activity to the next all summer, every day, allllllll summer. There have been days that I've had to be in eleven places. I've spent the majority of the summer in the car either driving or waiting. So, I'm glad for schedules and settling down.
BUT. Even more than that, I'm sad to see school begin because this year, Quayd is a senior. Grace is a Junior and ZJ is a Freshman. All three of my kids are in high school. HIGH. SCHOOL. STOP IT!!! I'm so not ready for this! My heart hurts. And Quayd. Last night, he was flying high, bouncing off the walls, "I'm a SENIOR!!!!" Oh my. Grace was just buzzed about seeing friends and potential social life and and and. ZJ... well, she was asking, "Mommy, please home school me this year. I really don't want to go back to school. I just want to be home with you! I'll be your best friend!" She's always been my homebody. How is it that they are all three in high school? How is it that I sent them off to school this morning and I will only have this "Back to School" experience three more times? How is it that I was blessed to be able to do it a second time around with three amazing kids. It makes me cry!
So, last night, we had the traditional night before back to school where the kids gave us a fashion show of all their school clothes, then Doug gave each of them a Father's blessing. The fashion show was short and sweet. The biggest change this year was that the kids have all worked all summer and bought their own clothes, by choice. They were so proud of that! It was definitely a different experience shopping. Things that they'd have never batted an eye at buying, this year, on their dime, they were much more consciencious about the things they purchased. It was a great learning experience for them!
Anyway, here are their back to school pix from this morning. The girls are more into dresses this year. And Quayd. Oh my. He's such a ham.
Quayd, Senior Year! He's a Thespian, very excited for the drama opportunities this year, preparing seriously to serve an LDS mission. (He literally could be on a mission at this time next year, how's that for scary!) He's outgoing, hard working and eats like no one I've ever seen in my lifetime! He also has softened quite a bit this summer. His APTC experience really brought out the "man" in him. He's quicker to apologize, to appreciate and is much more reflective about things. LOVE THIS SENIOR of ours!
Grace is just as feminine as ever. She's loved getting a job and earning money of her own and is quite proud of herself for working hard. It's been fun to watch! She's also read the Doctrine and Covenants on her own this summer and looks forward to Seminary. She hopes to date this year. However, she's as shy as she is beautiful, so she knows that she's going to have to step out of her comfort zone, which is usually a book! She's gentle and soft-spoken but can have attitude bigtime! She really wants to go to college. She's excited about singing with the performing group, Bella Voce, this year! We love it when it's her month to do dishes because she sings her way through them! Always our princess, Grace.
ZJ, a freshman! STOP THAT! She's our feisty, Martha Stewart, amazing can do anything go-to girl. She's got spunk and attitude and a strong-will. She really the most like me of all six of our kids. She cracks me up! One thing about Zee is that she has absolutely no inhibitions! She will break out in a dance or song in the store, she'll tell people when they need to shape up, she'll tell someone that they are pretty or have nice hair or whatever. She's a writer, a cook, a homemaker... gee, she really is like me. ha! She's not a big fan of school, however. She hates the drama there and would rather just stay home, learn what she needs to and do what she wants to do. She's a pill! This year, ZJ is excited about being a member of Rotary Interact, a volunteer/service organization, that she hopes will send her to help in building homes in Mexico next summer. LOVE this girl!
So, it's going to be a busy year with lots of events in the works! It was very strange this morning to take the kids "back to school" pix in the living room and not on the top of the stairs and front porch of our old Smithfield home. The kids all commented on it. No one complained though, which was lovely. The summer has brought camps, youth activities, neighborhood friends, and a real acceptance of life in the new home. Hard to believe that we are at this juncture in the school years. High School for everyone! CRAZY! We are happy and loving it though! I just want this year to be wonderful and to come at us slowly!
Life is good!!!