Dear NHL and JSL,
Two days ago, you started back to school and it honestly tugged at my heart. While the last few weeks were filled with bickering between the two of you, there were many sweet moments. In addition to this, it was nice not to have a hectic schedule. It was fun to read what we wanted, go to the science museum almost any time, and relax without school worries. Ah, the school worries. It has been difficult hiding my own worries from the two of you the last few months. The reality of never again taking you to the same school and watching one of my babies head to middle school was hard.
On the first morning, you were so excited for the start of middle school NHL. I really do hope that this enthusiasm continues throughout sixth grade and beyond. You keep going back and forth about what your favorite subject is and which teacher you like most. I keep reminding you that there is no reason to have a favorite and you can enjoy all of them while learning. It’s fantastic to see you come out of school energized and excited to learn science and social studies each and every day. Common Core’s focus on Math and Language Arts took away a lot of this over the last few years. No blame on your past teachers, they did what they were told to do by the district and NYSED. I look forward to watching you spread your wings and grow academically while exploring new math concepts, novels, and more. Everyone that we met at orientation and after have been so kind and helpful. I am encouraged and hopeful that it will be an amazing year for you.
JSL when you heard that your big brother was leaving for school that first day, you jumped out of bed. You wanted to get dressed quickly for our back to school traditional photo. I think this really meant a lot to you, not just me. The last few weeks, I watched as nightmares returned and questions popped up. I think the reality of no big brother at the elementary school was hard for you. Not walking into the building together and knowing that you won’t see his face during the day is a huge change. We enjoyed the quiet time in the morning together as we waited to go to school. My heart broke watching you cry that first morning as you walked up to your classroom alone. At the end of the day, you told me you were sad. I stopped and asked you why. You told me you loved school and did not want to leave. Finally, I was able to exhale because I knew you were happy being back with friends. Like your brother, I hope to see you smile each and every day when you come out of school. I missed seeing you rush home to write stories and being creative. I saw all of that come back this summer, along with your love for reading chapter books by yourself.
Boys, always know that I am here for you. I am cheering you on to do the best that you can and always here to help you. If something happens in school, never second guess being able to talk to us at home. You are the reason we fight so hard to make sure the educational world gets back on track. We want both of you to have the opportunities that we had and more.