Despite the last day we acknowledged more than two months ago, and that first day we celebrated shortly after, today still had a vibe to it. Perhaps it was perusing the Facebook posts last night of friends whose little ones were all packed up and ready to go. Perhaps it was hearing the school buses careening around the neighbourhood. Perhaps it was walking into the local school supply sections of the stores and seeing that it looked like a bomb had been dropped. Perhaps it was all this that sent my mind back to all those first days where I was the one walking out the door and off into the world.
And then I felt this weird feeling as we emerged from our house shortly after 9:00. What would people think if they saw my kids not in school? This feeling was definitely non-existent during the summer, when it could be expected for three children to be with their mother in the middle of the day. Now it feels as if we stand out in a crowd a bit. That we're larger targets for curious questions or unsupportive comments.
Try as I might to squelch the feeling, there is a part of me that fears being judged or labeled. I don't know why I care what other people think. I know the fear isn't strong enough to stop us from our field trips - indeed another one is planned for tomorrow in a more visible setting than today's. And I'm sure the feeling will subside with time, and get more comfortable on this path we've chosen. The unknown always has an element of scariness, doesn't it? This is something new for us, and the learning curve is steep, and I'm sure it is like all new things - they get easier with time.
And how was today? It was a success by my measuring sticks. A field trip in the morning to a nearby nature refuge. Listening to the birds, spotting a blue heron flying over the creek, checking out the crickets to discover if they were male or female, having robins flitting around our heads. A short afternoon of reading and writing and math. The children surprised to find there really is free time for them to choose what they will do next. Diving into the watercolours! Playing a game! I'm even writing this post as supper cooks, instead of in the late hours of the evening! Sweet!