First days, fresh starts


I had a few ideas for things to do during Josephine’s nap today, after I dropped Catherine off for her first full day of Kindergarten. Jo asleep in her stroller, I could take the ferry across the Hudson to IKEA, and browse throw blankets I didn’t plan to buy. I could take a walk along the Hudson Esplanade and do some “thinking.” Or, I could find a coffee shop and sit down and attempt a blog post. The coffee shop was too full to accommodate a stroller, but there were some little tables outside - so here I sit. There’s a chilly breeze, and I don’t know how long Josephine will stay asleep without the rocking motion of me pushing the stroller. But here we go. This morning, the scene outside Catherine's school was mass chaos. Parents smiling and crowding round to take photos of their new little students. The students themselves stood, or rather wiggled, in noisy lines, and let themselves be herded into the building by their new teachers. It would be overwhelming for anyone.

I watched Catherine, and clearly remembered being her age and how big the world seemed. She wore a Trolls backpack, clutched her pink lunchbox in one hand, and held tightly to Miss Camille’s hand with her other hand. Her face was so worried! She squinted against the sun and surveyed her surroundings as best she could. I knew she was searching for her friend Nina, who wasn’t there. I saw her look up at the sky and notice an airplane, but she was now being pulled along and tall grownups soon blocked her view. She then spotted a brightly colored hair tie on the ground and leaned towards it as if to grab it, then looked to her teacher a little urgently as if wanting to notify her, but still she was pulled right along and there was no time to stop and no one listening.

I tried to make eye contact to give her one more encouraging wave or blown kiss but she disappeared into the school without seeing me. I know she will be just fine. More than fine. She’s lucky, she isn’t very shy at all, unlike me as a child.

I know I haven’t been around these parts lately. When Catherine was born, suddenly nothing could compete with being mom.

And life, and all it’s surprises - most welcome, a few not - has a way of taking over if you let it.

Years ago, on my first blog, I wrote a post about what I’d do if I knew I could do anything. At the time all I wanted was to be a contributor to NPR and write about food. Soon after writing that blog post, my wish unexpectedly came true in the craziest way. I got a call from NPR because they’d seen my food blog, and were looking for contributors. Isn’t that crazy? I thought it was pretty awesome.

Which brings me back to that same question. If you knew anything was possible, what would you choose to do? Something for us all to think about.

I’ll end on that note! Miraculously, Josephine is still sleeping, so we’re going to walk to the grocery store and get the ingredients for chili. I’m feeling fall-y. Goodbye for now.