It’s just the normal orbiting of life, this slow swing into the school year. You’d think we’d all be ready with the way it happens annually, but transition is always a little jarring, even the happy jolt of a new school year.
We have a second one in high school now, our bear of a freshman, Quinn, who is only 13 and has feet as big as his father’s and only a few inches to go to catch him in height. Quinn is still the tender warrior, tough enough to withstand anything yet soft enough to love anyone. He will thrive in high school, I am certain, as he takes on a full slate of honors without a second thought, and is friends with all the juniors already. I hug him hard and let him go, my heart, out walking around in the cruel, wonderful world.
His sister, Naomi, has broken the way for him. As first borns must do. She enters her junior year strong. Driving herself and her brother in to classes each day. Taking another full honors load and excited for it. On track to study genetics in college. Coaching junior cheerleaders. Working as a supervisor in her part time job. Most of all, more centered, more stable, after our world rocked last year with our family’s fourth child. We are so proud of how she has centered herself, how she has reached deep and found strength inside of herself, and found her way.
Meanwhile, our two littles will be back at the Mandarin Arts School, where they will both do shortened days, designed to give them extra time building connections with me and layering language learning in the way only mothers and children can do. They are two brave fifth graders, re-entering American school, with all it’s cultural complexity. I will let them go with my breath held after more meetings with teachers, administrators and support staff, all of whom know their needs and work hard to meet them. Praying all the way. And they will shine. We’re so grateful for the Asian school community around them. After all, it takes all of us, a village, to raise our children.