I keep trying to sit down and write about our train trip, but, to be honest, it sort of feels like it happened in another world.
We had an amazing time--both on the train and at my dad and step-mom's house--but, just a few hours after we got home, we got hit with some horrible news about the death of a friend and her daughter (which I don't actually even want to talk about more than that, except to say please hug your babies so tight, you guys).
Then, I looked at the larger/general world news (which I was purposefully taking a break from while we were on vacation and holy shit).
And then there were a few snafus/stressful moments getting the Kid settled in his new school (which were small, first-world problems if I step out of myself and look at them objectively, but felt epic because I'm already rubbed raw and ready to cry at the drop of a hat).
So, while I will get to our trip eventually, just a few things for today:
1. Nazis are evil. Apparently that's a thing that's up for debate now, so I'm putting my position out there, loud and clear. People who make excuses for Nazis are also evil. (And, in case you missed it, Heather Hayer's mom is indescribably brave.)
2. The Kid was pretty nervous heading into his first day at his new school. I think I slept about two hours the night before, myself, but we all mustered up the best smiles we had for drop-off.
At the end of the day, he came out with a real smile. Apparently the lessons are a bit long for his taste, but they got to use Legos and he really seemed to like Boys and Girls Club.
3. Little Miss had no issue of real/fake smiles for her first day of school photo, but actually cried when we left her in her new classroom. While that may logically seem worse than the Kid's first day, it barely bothered me at all. I can't decide if this is because they're different kids--he's more sensitive and inclined to stew on things; she's a bit of a spitfire--or if it's completely down to the fact that she's heading into a place I know very well vs. him going off into the unknown.
4. I feel like first-born children should get some kind of extra credit for always being the ones to go off into the unknown. I don't like to think of him as my "practice kid", and--as we learned with Little Miss in her toddler room (which was the same school/same teacher as the Kid had)--nothing ever happens exactly the same way. But she definitely benefits big-time from what we learn with him. At least, with her, I know what questions to ask; with him I'm often caught so off-guard by the stupidest things. ("Wait, you want to eat school lunch tomorrow? Umm....guess I better figure out how to make that happen, huh?")
5. In the midst of some of the "epic" new school stuff this week, I started to waver a little on our decision to send the Kid to public school. When I started going back through our reasoning, though--both with Sweet Husband and with a friend who actually made the opposite choice--it still held up. Change is hard, yo, but it's also how you grow. (Aside: I love to re-read this post when I start getting stressed about school choices for the kids. It's helpful in quelling the panic.)
6. And, as my wise friend told me, usually change actually sucks more for the parents. Also--my friend didn't say this, but I know it's true--as much as I like to think of myself as a cool, laid-back mom, I don't like anybody right away when it comes to my kids.
The Kid's baby room teacher is now basically part of our family. But the first day I handed him off to her as an infant I think I may have really-truly given her the stink-eye. I left a tearful Little Miss with the Kid's former pre-school teacher this morning with a light heart. But on the Kid's first day in that same class I remember telling Sweet Husband grimly, "I'm just not sure about her...."
They're both women I adore now. It just takes me a bit to warm up. (I wonder if that's my own particular brand of crazy or if it's an evolutionary/biological thing? Must research.)
7. I know I said I don't want to talk about our friend--and I still really don't--but the juxtaposition all of this with that (and Charlottesville and whatever other horrible thing is going to happen, probably before I can even hit "post") puts "all of this" into such appropriate perspective. It's still worth worrying about--and, oh yes, I still very much will--but...
My children are both healthy and loved and more-or-less happy. They're both getting good educations that will help them grow up to hopefully make the world suck less. We're all alive and safe and together.
Because I feel those pesky tears springing to my eyes again, I will now end this thought-and-feeling vomiting post with the following very random, dramatic excerpt from Louise the Chicken.