Somehow the beginning of school has been hitting me like a ton of bricks every year. More than the new year, more than birthdays, this time of year is making me pull my head up and see how everyone is transitioning. Basically, my babies are growing up!! I've tried to make it exciting. I took everyone school supply shopping and noted to myself: never, never again will I try to complete school supply lists with four voices yakking, four bodies going in every direction and eight hands touching. However, it was great fun later to tear open packages and stuff items in their new Pottery Barn backpacks which I purchased on clearance last year.

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I took each child on a "date" to go for lunch/dinner and shop for clothes for their first day of school. This was such a sweet reminder to me that we need to do this more often. They just lapped up the attention and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit with them. Ruby went for lunch to Red Robin's and then got a scratch and sniff shirt (what on earth?) and jeans from Old Navy. Jasper and I also hit Old Navy and happily munched on fish tacos. Tymen and I had a pizza picnic and nabbed up some superhero shirts at Fred Meyer.

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Ruby knew the drill by third grade and brought her brother in for open house with me wandering behind taking pictures and wondering, when did her legs get so long?

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On their first day of school last week we did the obligatory backpack-in-front-of-the-house pictures.

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Their sweet brother sister shot turned into a bum pinching shot.

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Then I walked with my girl to class. She's been cheering on Jasper and teaching him what it means to be a Wildcat. She's been excited to get back to see her friends and visit the library as often as possible. Third grade, this year marks the second half of elementary school. It's gone so quickly and I remember walking her in her little cherry dress to kindergarten not that long ago.

Third grade was one of my favorite grades to teach and I know she's going to have a wonderful year.

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Then I headed back home to pick up Jasper for kindergarten orientation. He was so jazzed. "I'm just going to go dancing in that class, Mum!!"

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The mother that smothers, perhaps?

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Already boring :)?

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It was the next day when we were actually leaving Jasper at kindergarten that brought the biggest lump to my throat as I saw my two boys running down the sidewalk together. Everything is changing. Jasper to afternoon kindergarten. Tymen to morning pre-k this year. Their whole lives will be different.

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I think part of  what I'm realizing, is that it seems like I just was lining up my little girl in pigtails at that wall with her grinning little face...and suddenly I find myself here again with three years passing much too quickly. However, I was the only teary one between the two of us as Jasper beamed at his pal, Evelyn, and starting chatting up the other kids in line.

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His teacher asked them to give themselves a hug and put a bubble in their mouths (Jasper looked like he could be throwing up). And off they went.

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Today we brought Tymen to preschool. He was running around like a little puppy beforehand, bouncing off the walls. He's been waiting for this day for a long time.

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He insisted on bringing flowers for his teachers. Note: Jasper was wearing his swimsuit as we'd run out of underwear and I was running a load this morning so that he could wear pants to school.

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I know he's in extremely good hands.

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To be honest, there's a definitely upside. A little quiet in the afternoons while Jasper and Ruby are in school and Tymen and Theo are napping is oh-so-nice. It's been good to get into a routine again. I've had some time this past week to tackle some projects that have waited while we've been swimming and at the park this summer.

But I know I am definitely a sentimental mummy who is in turn: feeling terribly proud of my kids, cheering them on, wanting to keep them under my wings, wanting them to stretch and grow. I feel like I am cherishing these days the best I know how, but still feel that time is marching on at a pretty quick pace. I think that mostly what I feel is incredibly grateful that we have been gifted with these little lives to nurture and love through these years. It is humbling and overwhelming at times, but truly the very best thing that we could ever be given to do.

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