The little ones finally rolled out of bed at 8:30 (once again proving the rule that on days when you need them up and at 'em, they will not oblige).
Breakfast was homemade zucchini muffins (which Adrian loves) and vanilla yogurt. Adrian ate the muffins, Fiona ate the yogurt. Then I loaded them into the car to drop Fiona off at a friend's house, drove the 3 blocks back in the rain, and Adrian & I walked to school.
We saw familiar faces from last year--every sentence ending with an exclamation point--and new faces, hiding behind parents, with worried, furrowed brows. I encouraged Adrian to talk with the new boys in his class--later I explained to him that having a friendly face makes new things less scary sometimes. He's a natural ambassador, and was happy to make connections and chat up strangers his own size. It's those moments when you are so proud of the little people that they are. And yes, I spent most of the morning fighting back tears. Partially, it was watching Adrian dive right in and get comfy and then partially it was thinking of 2 little boys we know who will be starting this school year without their mother.
They are 5 and 7 and they live several states away. And every time I think of those boys, I get a lump in my throat and I just want to reach out and hold them close. To let them know that they are loved, and that so many people are holding them in their hearts.