While I always feel so proud watching her growing independence as she runs off happily with friends she hasn't seen all summer, I also feel sad. All day I felt like a little piece of me was missing. I got the opportunity to stay home all summer with my girls. That meant every single day, less a few here and there, I got to be with them. I got used to it and so today just felt half empty. I like having her around to boss around her little sister, help me cook or just randomly come up and ask for a hug with a big ol smile. (That last one there just melts me every time...no matter what I'm in the middle of) She's a big second grader now, so the anticipation of a new school year is much less than it has been in the past. She wasn't excited to go back to school because she said she didn't want summer to end, but she also wasn't nervous about it. As soon as she started seeing old friends she was all about it. I thought of her a lot through out the day...wondering what she was doing, if she was having a good day. I eagerly waited to see her face as kids came streaming out of the classrooms and was happy to see a smile of her face and the confirmation that her teacher was "super nice" She also was eager to tell me..."My teacher is 28 and isn't even married" It was pretty funny...I guess when you're seven, that must seem pretty old. On our walk home we settled back into our routine of talking about our days apart as I asked every question imaginable to try to drag out all the parts of her day so I didn't just get "my day was good" I felt complete again with both girls by my side.
Next week there will be another piece of me missing when Layla starts Kindergarten. Oh my, I am so not ready for that. The one thing about today was I still had my littlest baby girl with me. It was much easier hugging Ava goodbye and then turning and grabbing Layla's hand for our walk home. It's what we do. We drop off Ava and then spend the ten minute walk home playing "I Spy" or "What Am I?" What am I gonna do next week when I have to walk home all by my lonesome??? It doesn't seem quite right...we raise these little babies and get them for five short years and then they are off to school. Spending more time with teachers and friends than with us. I know, I know...it's the way it's supposed to be and I should feel so happy that we have raised them to be such happy, independent good kids who want to go to school. However, I tend to be a little selfish when it comes to my girls and so right now I'm sulking a bit about the whole thing. Since I can't even begin to think about how next week will feel I'll go onto other things for now. Little Miss Layla is so ready to start.
Layla did get to go to Kinder Orientation this morning. She was so upset when we had to leave and wanted to know exactly how many days until she actually gets to start. It looks as if I am the only one feeling apprehensive about this Kindergarten thing. For that, I am glad. I would much rather be the one feeling nervous and sad about it and for her to only feel excitement.
As if school wasn't enough of an abrupt end to summer lazieness, the girls also both started soccer this week. Layla had her first practice yesterday and she was all about it. It just goes to show the difference between the girls. Last year Ava said we "forced" her into soccer and really didn't want to even try it. However, after the very first practice she was hooked and can't wait to start again this season. We didn't even ask Layla if she wanted to do soccer, she asked us if she could. Last night she laced up her cleats, grabbed her soccer ball and lead all of us to her practice.
She just got after it...running around, kicking that ball. Taking her to her first day of soccer doesn't make me feel sad like first days of school. I think it's because you're allowed to stay and watch it all go on, while teachers frown upon parents lurking in the back of the class room. (something I've never done by the way...) Ava spent the practice rolling up and down the hill. Kids help remind you that it is the simple pleasures in life...
Ava starts her soccer tomorrow...I never really imagined I'd have two little girls in soccer. I thought more two little girls in leotards or with pom poms. I guess I'm officially a soccer mom now. I can dig it...little shin guards and cleats are totally adorable.
One of my favorite things to do last year with Layla while Ava was at school was to cook with her. During the summer, she is way too busy playing with her sister to be bothered to help, so today I thought I should take advantage of these three short days I get with just Layla. And, because of the horrible smoke that has settled into our valley we couldn't really play outside anyways. What's the best thing to do if you're stuck indoors? Bake! I've been wanting to bake a cherry pie with all these delicious Flathead cherries that are in season and I just happened to have a big bag full of them. We put on aprons, cranked on some music and got to baking.
Oh, it was so good. By far my favorite flavor of any pie. I know apple pie is all American and there will be plenty of that as fall comes along, but nothing beats cherry. I think it's because even though it's a pie which feels wintery to me, it tastes an awful lot like summer.
Now it is time to go to bed because in the morning there is a little girl to get up and ready for school. And, I have a couple more days to soak up some time with Layla. This weekend we plan to go to the river for a last camping hoorah. Hopefully all this smoke will clear so we can go splash in the water, eat junk food and officially kiss summer goodbye.