Kai is a 1st Grader today!! She was excited to start school. I'm glad we had her spend the summer at Courtyard, so she started the year with friends already in place and a teacher she knows. Her teacher seems great. She sent Kailey a postcard about a week ago that said how excited she was to have Kai in her class. She signed it "xoxo, Ms. Peters." Kailey thought that was HILARIOUS and also a little embarrassing. She kept saying, "I CAN'T believe she signed it XOXO." We asked her why and she'd yell, "that means HUGS and KISSES!!" But, I could tell how pleased she was to have a teacher who sent her a postcard full of love. Hopefully this year will be better than last.
This morning before we left for school, I asked Kai what her goals for the year were. The first thing she said was, "no hitting" -- clearly remembering the list that she made last year that we'd go over every day before school to make sure she avoided any more conflicts. It was heartbreaking. We told her we weren't worried about that. We knew she had learned how to deal with conflict -- and she'd done wonderfully all summer. We asked her to think about the things she wanted to have happen during the year. She wrote out a list. It included:
- have fun
- listen to her teacher
- remember to stop an activity when her teacher says stop
- be kind
Not only has Kai now started FIRST GRADE, but somehow, Alden is 5 months old. He's such a sweet baby. He grouses more than he did in his first months, but it is clear that it is due to his desire to get MOVING. He is frustrated that his constant leg kicks don't propel him across the room. He lays on his belly kicking and kicking and kicking and then - when nothing happens after many minutes of vigorous kicking - he starts to grumble. And the grumble becomes a complaint of some volume before finally elevating to a full on cry. He wants to move. We got him a new toy that supports him while he "stands" up and he can spin in a circle to play with various toys. He LOVES being able to be upright and move around.
He also tried sitting in a real high chair at a restaurant recently. So funny to see him sitting at the table.
He's doing better with the carseat these days. It helps that now he is fully aware of Kailey. He enjoys her so much. He'll coo at her and she'll coo back. She can mimic him so well that I can never tell who is doing the cooing. But, it keeps him entertained for the car ride. Kai also has many other tricks up her sleeve to comfort him. She is such an attentive and caring sister.
It's strange to me that Alden's been here 5 months. I'm ramping up my hours at work. We have a nanny starting one day a week this month and she'll be ramping up to 3 days a week over the coming months. My travel schedule is about to get hectic again.
In some ways, that's all good. It's been such a crazy year of transitions -- I'm really looking forward to settling back into a routine. But, there have been so many changes happening at the same time, that my brain and emotions have not caught up. I feel caught in limbo. I know we live in Sacramento now, but I don't feel it. My life feels foreign to me -- like it's happening to someone else. So, I'm hoping this fall, it starts to feel like it's mine again. I need to feel connected to my place and myself.
Fall is always more like the beginning of the year than January. It is the start of something new. And this fall, more than usual, marks new beginnings. The summer was the transition to these beginnings -- but, now they are here. Kai is at her new school. We should be moving into our new house soon. Alden will start with his new caregiver. We're settling down and into our life together as a family of four in a new city. I'm hoping this school year brings us much joy and a fuller, richer community in this new place that we're learning to call home.