…but sometimes a tender moment just can’t be left alone. Sometimes, at least when I get to bare witness to it I just can’t help but try to snap it up. You know, in picture form.
Tuesday before last was the first day of public 4k for the Quail. She has been so excited to go back to school and asked after it quite regularly. The other day as I was driving her to daycare we passed a bus on the road and I only noticed it because of her chortle, ” School Bus!!!!”
Last year at this time I was completely overwhelmed by the start of public school for our two oldest girls. It was more emotional for me than I anticipated for a host of reasons. This year for the most part, the start of the school year has gone smoothly. There are still a few unanswered questions we’re working on in terms of the Quail’s IEP. At this fall’s first meeting unfortunately I couldn’t bring another cheesecake, with the extent of food allergies in kiddos these days the school went with a school-wide no bringing in and sharing of food policy, and, well I like to be policy compliant 🙂 So as this school year starts, I’m trying to have a bit more faith in things working out and at least adjust my expectations that we are all now on the same page and working towards the same goal until I see otherwise. The teachers and therapists seem genuinely happy to be with our Quail, she seems to feel the same and the IEP is sufficiently detailed for now. In fact, last night I had reports from both private and public 4k on how participatory and well the Quail was doing. What really made my heart swell though, was a note from the public 4k teacher that in addition to the positive report added a line, “Thanks for pressing forward against our concerns.” So last night when I unpacked the girls backpacks and we pulled out the daily book that is sent home for the public 4k kiddos, we all sat down to read it. Zuzu read as the Quail and Sugarplum listened, and for that brief moment in time, I have to say everything felt normal and great. These are the moments to hold on to.
So last week, the first day the Quail was to go to private 4k in the morning, then ride the regular school bus from there to public 4k for lunch and the afternoon session and then return to the private school for the remainder of the afternoon. We hadn’t heard directly from the school bus office as to what time they would be picking her and a little friend who also will be going. It was making me antsy, but Lovey dropped her off and asked and the private school had heard from them. Later in the morning as I reminded myself that surely one of the schools would let me know if something wasn’t going well, Lovey called to ask if I had heard any updates and when I said no, he indicated he was going to call and see how the pick-up went. So…..ok, it went well. Then come 3pm it crossed my mind again to call and see how her day went, but I let it pass again figuring if something was awful I’d hear about it.
When I picked her up she was cheerfully sandy and sweaty- about how I find her everyday on the playground in the Southern summer. I asked how it had gone and staff indicated she came off the bus no problem and seemed to be in a good mood. Zuzu came bounding over about this time and let me know that she had seen Miss L, the teacher’s assistant and was asked to tell her Mommy and Daddy that the Quail had a good day and was a good listener all day. Whew.
So as we started our walk to the car the Quail started to falter and wilt. I asked if she had a good time with Miss D, she said no. Miss J? No. How about the school bus ride? SCHOOOOOLLLLLL BUSSSS!!!!! YAYYYYY!” The silliness returned for all of 5 minutes, before she passed clear out in her carseat.
We ordered happy meals to celebrate our good days and headed home. When we pulled in the driveway I turned around as Zuzu was again reiterating how good Miss L said the Quail did today and spied her holding the Quail’s hand as she talked.
They aren’t hand holders. Not in the least. Generally they’re too busy rascaling to have a tender moment together. But Zuzu, she’s been looking forward to sharing her school with her little sister for quite some time now and I do think she is sincerely proud to have her there. When the Quail first came home from the hospital I arranged myself on the bed getting set up to nurse and in came a doe-eyed Zuzu. So quiet, so watchful, just sitting there as I lifted the Quail to me. It broke my heart as I heard her refer to Momma & the Quail’s room when just a few months earlier she had shared our room, our bed. So I invited her in to join us in tandem and she happily settled in with a quick reach over to catch her sister’s hand.
Then a couple of years later we had reports from school when the Quail was old enough to start coming out on the toddler playground that whenever the class came out and the older kids were out on their playground, you could count on Zuzu and her posse coming over to the fence that separates them to check in on the Quail and sometimes they would see the sisters holding hands through the fence.
Sisters- I think that it is the unconscious moments that say so much of their bond.