Isabelle started school this week as a third grader. I've spent the whole week
wondering how my baby can be old enough to read and solve math problems and write
in cursive. Time certainly does fly. This year is quite special as she is attending a
new school, leaving behind the school she has attended since she was
in preschool. I have mixed feelings about this: as a rule, I don't like moving, I
don't really like change. I love being comfortable and knowing my surroundings and
building a strong community. But I know that this move is going to bring some
positive changes into Belle's academic career. Plus, her cousin and best friend Sarah
was accepted and is making the move, too. They are basically a package deal, these two.
And if there's anything we've learned over the last few months, it's that sometimes a
change truly can do you good.
The first day of school was full of rituals: a big breakfast, arguments over which headband
to wear, nervous jitters, and a sweet new backpack. We met up with Sarah at my
aunt's house for a photo shoot, the girls so excited in their new uniforms. My aunt and
I drove them to school: our first day tradition. We walked them to class, meeting a few
new faces along the way. Everyone was friendly, the girls both smiling as they took
their seats with their brave faces on. I walked back to my car and cried a little bit, so
proud of my daughter and her strong, confident character. I knew that she would be fine
at her new school, she would make new friends and integrate well. Belle has a kind soul
and a strong sense of self, she works hard and tries her best.
I made sure I was home every afternoon this week to greet her when she ran off the
school bus: papers flying and stories spilling out of her mouth before she could even
get down the driveway. Shawn sits with her in the office and helps her with her
homework while I make dinner and look after Brees. My husband has worked on oil rigs
in the Gulf of Mexico since Belle was born, traveling for work constantly and rarely home
in the late afternoon homework hours. He confided in me last night that one of the
bright spots of his accident are that he can be home with us now, he can help his little
girl learn her spelling words, watch her grow and change and develop. Watching the two
of them together, heads down and pencils sharpened: I can feel my soul beginning to
heal from the trauma we have endured. I can begin to see a purpose so much
greater than us.