Monday, September 3, 2012

A New Chapter Begins...

Who remembers this song?  

"Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze..."

You guessed it!  It's "Sunrise, Sunset"  from the musical "The Fiddler on the Roof" and it's been at least  20 years since I last sang this song in a school performance.  For those not familiar with it, "The Fiddler on the Roof" it's basically a story about a father who has to accept that his daughters are growing up - whether he agrees with how they're doing it or not.  Clearly, there's much more to it than this, but we're not here to discuss musicals, right?  

This song started going through my mind about two weeks ago, while I was purchasing kindergarten supplies for the twinks.  I think every kindergarten parent can't help but reflect on how much their babies have grown when faced with preparing them for school for the first time.  Sure,  for the parents who've had their kids in Pre-K or a daycare it's probably not really a big deal, but for first-time parents, like myself, whom have had the pleasure of having their kids cared for at home, starting kindergarten is HUGE!  It's the first time we're really faced with having to accept that our children must leave the comfort of our nests and get ready to face all the good, bad and ugly that the world has to offer.  So, here I was walking the aisles at Target picking up the items on their school supplies list and my heart started racing (and this song playing on auto-repeat in my head) as the realization that soon my precious babies would no longer be under my watchful eye began sinking in.  OK, I know that's a bit dramatic, but honestly, when it comes to my kids that's how I am and you know what?  I've earned the right to be this way.  I had a high risk pregnancy, overcame complications that would have had some women choose to terminate their gestation, ended up having an emergency c-section at 30 weeks, which was so painful that I required a morphine drip AND a prescription for Oxycodone (neither of which had any effect) and have spent every moment of their time on this Earth fighting for or protecting my twinkies - so you bet your ass that when it comes to caring for them, I am one hell of a force to reckon with. 

(Whew! Everybody OK?  That outburst surprised me, too!  Now back to the story at hand...)

I actually started their school year fighting for them.  See, where I live it's customary for multiple birth siblings (twin, triplets, etc.) to be separated in school.  The belief behind this practice is that it allows each child to develop as an individual and aid in preventing classroom distractions.  I understand this thinking, however, I do not agree that the school system should be making this decision, especially not without consulting the parents.  Since I was aware of this practice, I asked the twins early on how they felt about it and neither of them wanted to be separated.  Seeing how strongly they felt, there was no way I could have them start school without trying to keep them together.  So, during the registration process, I asked the school's Staff Development professional about the school's stance on separating multiple siblings and she confirmed that their policy is to separate them.  When I told her I prefer them to be in the same classroom, she gave a slight smirk and stated that I could speak to the Assistant Principal about my concerns, but that separation is really a standard practice throughout the county.  So, I came home, did my research and discovered that there is a law in place where parents may make a written request for their multiples to be in the same class and the school is required to comply for at least 30 days.  Well, that was all I needed to know!  I sent my request via email and I'm happy to say that as of today, the twins are in the same classroom!  Could this change?  Yes, but not without someone giving me a good reason for it.  

This, my friends, is how my family's next chapter of Life is beginning.  I find it bittersweet and exciting all at once.  I am so proud of my precious little ones for all that they have accomplished, so far.  I love the excitement that they have for going to school, experiencing new things and discovering  their potential in new ways!  From this day forward our definitions of "quality time" and "vacation" have taken on a whole new meaning and purpose.  I know that there will be many trials and tribulations before us.  I have accepted that there are many things I will not be able to protect them from and although it pains me deeply, I know that there will also be times when all I can do is be there to hug them and wipe away their tears (sniff, sniff.)  (Sigh) This may be one of the hardest years of parenthood, I've had it too soon to start planning our 2013 summer vacation?!?!

Be well & take care all!  

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