And school begins.

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When I started this blog, my daughter was only 10-months-old. A wee lass still. At the time I felt I’d already missed so many opportunities to record her day-to-day and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever catch up. I almost talked myself out of writing my first post with that logic. It’s too late, don’t you see? It’s counterintuitive, but that’s fear for you. Fast forward 3.5 years and my once mini muse-of-a-babe is now a “big kid” starting school. Time is weird.

Leni has grown into one confident, curious, imaginative, loving and theatrical 4-year-old. She’s totally got this school thing in the bag. And that is not the only big change she’s rocked of late. We’re talking a big move into a new house not too long ago with a whole new (yet familiar) everything. This first week of school was transitional so yesterday was her first full day and she was eager to get going from the moment she was out of bed (after she got past that groggy grumpy part, which she gets from her mama). That girl is always ready to socialize.

Leni asked me just the other day if she was going to her new school forever yet. When I asked her if she wanted to go forever, she said yes. While “forever” is just her way of describing being at school full time, it made my heart ache just a tad. Little does she know, this really is the beginning of a kind of forever. We, as a family, will now be on a school schedule for the foreseeable future. I still consider myself a student though I haven’t taken an academic class since before becoming a parent, but in reality we have had a certain amount of flexibility even if we haven’t always taken advantage of it. Even still, the day after Labour Day never stopped feeling like the New Year to me. Fresh beginnings, school supplies, fall clothes, cooler air, shorter days. It really shapes so much of the way we exist in the world. And now she is truly entering into that new forever too.

For now, I’m just grateful her introduction to all this new stuff has been so positive that she’s eager to get started. Being a newbie at this school, she’s following the same transition as the first year students, who are all three. It’s a Montessori school so Leni is in 2nd year Casa (equivalent to JK). Watching as all the younger kids enter–many leaving their families for the first time ever–it’s a good reminder of what a huge developmental shift has happened with Leni in the past 12 months.

Last year, we opted to only send Leni to her preschool three days a week. Being home with the kids, I felt like having a couple of flexible days during the week together would be nice. By the end of last year, however, I knew she was more than ready to be in school full-time. It was time to unleash all that energy into a classroom equipped to channel it. Thank goodness for teachers.

Attending her old school was so formative in teaching her the independence she would need to enter school this year (with a kick in her step). I’m sure it won’t all be smooth sailing, but for now I’m happy to see her excitement in her new environment. Her openness to meeting new kids. We’ve been lucky so far to get very little drama at drop off (knock on wood), but I know big changes find a way of adding some interesting new energy. Something tells me it won’t stop with her crawling into our bed at 3am.

Leni continues to amaze and inspire me. Not many adults would cope with all the shifts to their reality as she has done. Including yours truly. The glimmers of who this kid is shaping into once again leave me in awe.

Carpe diem, kiddo.

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