... punctuated only by the joyous weeping of parents in their suddenly quiet and mess free houses...
Yes folks, the first day of school is here.
Or at least it is for the schools of the Diocese of Phoenix, where our girls go to school (Amazingly enough, at a 4 million person metro area and 20% catholic population we don't qualify for an archdiocese; we're part of the archdiocese of Santa Fe, population 72 thousand. And yet, there are towns of 30,000 in Italy that have an archbishop, or even a cardinal... Funny that).
In particular, this is our older girls first day of "real" school, she's just starting kindergarten today; and our younger girls first day of any kind of school period, she's starting the two year pre-school program.
Through a quirk of dates and policies; Girl the youngers birthday is a few weeks too late to have let her start pre-school last year while her sister was in pre-kindergarten. She'll be 4 in less than a month; while Girl the older will be six 2/3 the way through her Kindergarten year.
I grew up most of a year younger than all the kids I went to school with because my birthday was a month before the end of the school year; Girl the older will be right in the middle, and Girl the younger will be most of a year older than her schoolmates.
Honestly though, that's not a bad thing. For one thing she's been soaking up noggin, her sisters schooling, and our own efforts at education very well. She's a lot further along with things than most three year olds (or four year olds for that matter); in fact she can even read a lot of basic words and she knows her letters and numbers very well. Plus, she's only recently become consistent enough with her potty training to be able to make it through the day without accidents; and that's kind of important.
Girls the older is herself raring to go to kindergarten, mostly because she gets to wear a UNIFORM YAY!!!! No seriously, I can't describe to you the enthusiasm she has for wearing the uniform. It's a mark of big girl pride.
What's really funny though, is that both girls are REALLY tall (as in 95th percentile tall) for their ages. They look more like a second grader and a kindergartner respectively; and compared to the rest of their class... Well, I hope it doesn't get them teased; but it IS kind of funny to look at all these little tiny 3 year olds, and then there's our girl who looks like she could take them all on in a steel cage match and emerge victorious.
With Girl the older, it's almost as bad; though she at least isn't the tallest in her class, there's actually one girl and one boy taller. Actually the taller boy is kinda freakishly tall; as in 9 year old tall not 5 year old tall.
Anyway, we're really happy the kids are finally both in school. Last year was a bit rough on Girl the younger without her playmate all day; and we're glad to be getting them both into the routine, the discipline, and the GOOD educational experience (rather than the unfortunately typically poor public school experience. Trust me on this one, we couldn't do a better job homeschooling than this school does unless we BOTH made it our full time job. They're one of the best primary schools in the state, and in the top 10% of the nation)
Mel's not quite sure what to do with herself though. She started a flexible hours part time job a couple weeks ago to give her something to do, but she's not really happy with it. She may look for a more traditional mothers hours job (the school has full day kindergarten and preschool, with before and afterschool care and enrichment programs); if for nothing else, just to get the social interaction from people who aren't either kindergarten/preschool parents, parish members, or our existing friends (most of whom were my friends before we met, because most of her old friends no longer live in the area).