To my knowledge, I don’t have any pictures of my first day of K-12 school. In kindergarten (1984) pictures were taken with analog cameras with film that had to be developed at a drug store or a one hour photo shack in the mall parking lot.
The day I started college, mom took pictures of me with a disposable camera. Note: you were supposed to get the film developed before you threw it away — a rookie mistake. Maybe that’s why I can’t find that particular photo.
Now that our cameras are built into our phones, which are built into computers that fit into our pockets, pockets which are built in our pants, we find ourselves awash with Kodak moments — a marketing phrase that makes absolutely no sense to my children. “What’s a Kodak moment, Dad?” they ask, and I tell them to google it — a phrase that would’ve made no sense to me when I was their age.
Speaking of my children, today was the first day of school for our 4 boys. Lexi, the only girl, who more than holds her own, has been in school all summer, so today is no big deal to her. She’s off this week, freeing her to sleep in during the pre-dawn chaos. Mac, Carter, Zac, and Cam, however, started the year out this early morning in a mix of nerves, excitement, and hormones.
Here they are sporting their new school gear as some of them begrudgingly hold signs:
Merging a family is hard work. Mac and Zac were especially concerned about moving. New school, new neighborhood, new church, new friends. They dreaded this day and what it would mean. And yet, here they are, ready to go and even smiling. Sure, they were told to smile, but still… there’s acceptance and even excitement in this picture.
Carter, whose world has been altered in many ways by loss and the sudden infestation of four new people into his home, has been so helpful. He was ready to show Mac around the new school, a labyrinth of hallways and additions and mergers, not to mention a whole new bunch of kids.
Zac will find his people and, if I had to guess, form a band that will practice in our basement at some point.
Young Cam wasn’t all that happy about going to his kindergarten class this morning. It took some high-level negotiation to get him to stay in the building. Of course, he was more than fine by the time he got home, ready to hop on his bike and cruise the neighborhood, just like has has all summer.
Lexi took the absence of her brothers in stride, keeping an eye on the suddenly empty house, making sure to add random noises to the silence and do her Lexi thing with great joy.
The best part of this day, besides sending our lads off to another year in their quickly passing academic journey, was being on the same team as my wife Brittany. Our morning routine is a finely tuned mechanism that keeps everyone on track to be clean, deodorized, and at the breakfast table for food and a lil’ bible study by 6:40am. Like an airport, we’re shipping five kids to four buildings, and every second counts down to their daily departure. I love mornings, and I love routine, but I really love Brittany. She loves our kids — all of them — like her own. She does what only moms can do (I know nothing about hair styling, having lost my hair over 15 years ago). More than that, we have the opportunity to do the hard work of raising our kids together — to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
All in all, not a bad first day. Monumental, in fact. We made it over a huge hurdle. Thank you, Jesus. Now… 8 hours until we do it again.
I just hope there’s enough bacon.