Ruby started fourth grade today, and Edward started first grade. This is very exciting, but a little sad, because for the first time ever I did not get to drop off one of my children on their first day of school. I couldn’t. It was impossible. They are going to two different schools now.
We moved across town this summer, which I may have mentioned one or two (hundred) times recently. We’re in the same school district, so there was no need to change schools, but the option was there. We used to live across the street from school. Now we live a few blocks away from a different school. And so a choice had to be made. And a choice was made. Two choices, actually. Two different choices, by two very different kids.
Ruby was absolutely not going to change schools. This will be her 5th year at her school, she has some good friends there, and if we tried to make her switch, I feel confident in saying that she would have run away and gone to the old school anyway. Edward, on the other hand, had a rough start to school last year. He missed most of the fall, what with being in the hospital pretty much constantly until Christmas, and so he was eager for a fresh start. So that’s what we did.
As luck would have it, they each got what the other wanted in terms of transportation. Edward would like nothing more than to ride a bus to school, and yet now he will be walking the couple of blocks every morning to get to his first grade classroom. Ruby assured me, when I suggested that she take the bus to her school across town, that this would never happen and that she would rather walk two miles to school in the snow uphill both ways than ever take a bus. We’re working on it. For today, I am picking her up.
The thing is, it is the same school district. Both schools start and end at the exact same time. I cannot be in two places at once. So Tenor Mom will be walking Edward to school in the morning, as she did today, and I will be driving Ruby to school until I can trick her into getting on a bus. At pick-up time I will be grabbing Edward first, since he is too little to be let loose on his own, and then we will drive over to get Ruby, who will be walking back to hang out at the co-op for those ten minutes of my travel time every afternoon. At least until I can trick her into getting on a bus.
I think this set-up will work, and that it is good. But today, on the first day, I wish I could have been there with Edward, to walk him to his classroom, say hi to his teacher, and give him a big hug as he begins this new adventure. And I’m sure my wife would have liked to see Ruby off as well. But this is a minor complaint. We are blessed in so many ways. After all, there are two of us parents too. I know not everybody has that, so I will be thankful for the ability to send my children to the schools they want, and for the help and teamwork that gets us through the day. It won’t be easy, but we can make it work. At least until I can trick Ruby into getting on a bus.