Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to School

Today was the first day of school. But not for the boys... for me!

The traditional first day of school shot that I do each year for the boys!

After 13 years of being out of college, I went back. But before you get too excited, please note that I'm only taking one class, four units of Japanese. I'll be going three days a week, during the day when the boys are in school. This week I've really been able to empathize with working/single parents who have to find some place to send the kids while they are at work (or school), since my kids are still on Summer Break. 

Today the boys got to hang with my in laws. Wednesday, my husband will stay home from work while I'm in class. Friday, my parents will have them for the weekend. Monday is a holiday, and then they start school on Wednesday when I go back to class as well. Whew! I never take for granted the fact that I get to be home with my kids and can completely work around them. I can do my job at 2:00 am in my pajamas from my home. I don't think I'd want it any other way. When raising kids, each day seems to go on forever, yet the years fly by, and I don't want to miss out on what ends up being an awfully short amount of time.

And yet... I'm very glad to be going back to school, breaking out of my routine and learning something new, even if it's just one class. When we lived in Japan, the company hired me a private tutor who came to our home twice a week to school me in speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. We lived in a suburban area near Tokyo where there were hardly any expats like us. I rarely came into contact with people who spoke English.  For learning a foreign language, this is the way to go. However, that was 8 years ago. I fear I'm letting those valuable language lessons go to waste. And my deepest wish is to move back to Japan at some point. So why not sharpen those rusty skills?

I took the boys with me to the campus last week to pick up my textbooks. Since they are starting a new school and are somewhat nervous about it, I thought I'd share my own nervousness about returning to school after being out for so many years. I was hoping we could have a little heart to heart conversation about fear of change. Instead, Nathan said, "Just be cool on the first day and you'll be the most popular girl in no time." And Benjamin said, "Mom, you're not afraid of anything. Don't start now." I got a lump in my throat at their sincere efforts to bolster my confidence. And I hope I can do the same for them when they start at a brand new school next week!

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