The reduction in daily whining alone is enough to make it worth it, but there are plenty of other perks, too. School starts at 8:00am, with the bus arriving at 7:30am. It's a little crazy that Lily takes the bus since the school is only 5 or 6 blocks away, but we live on the other side of the train tracks so they do it for safety. Lily thinks it's so cool to ride the bus and I love that I can just send her out the door while I'm still in my pj's, sporting some bedhead and morning breath. We wake up at 6:45am, and while it was rough the first few days, we're getting used to it. I used to just sleep until Amelia woke up at 8:30ish and by the time we ate breakfast and got dressed it seemed like it was almost lunch time. I love sending Lily off at 7:30am and having an hour or so to do my own thing before Amelia wakes up. I don't feel like such a lazy slug anymore! Amelia loves to go for walks in the mornings and it's great to get out of the house. In some ways it's easier to manage Amelia alone rather than trying to find something that will entertain a toddler and a six-year-old at the same time.
Lily is liking school so far, although every morning she whines that it's too long. But she's always energetic when she gets home, so obviously it doesn't wear her out too bad. She was a little nervous before starting school because she was going to have a boy teacher. I don't think I ever had a male teacher until I was in junior high school. It seems like around our country most of the elementary school teachers are women. It's what we're used to and in many ways it seems appropriate since women are more of the nurturing type. In Cokeville, the strong majority of teachers are men. Apparently, Wyoming pays its teachers a lot better than the rest of the country, so it's a viable career for men, something that pays enough to actually support a family on one income. Lily's teacher, Mr. Hatch, quit his position as a principal in Idaho because he could make more money as a first grade teacher in Cokeville. Plus I think his wife is from here. And if I've learned one thing about Cokeville so far, it's that people are fiercely loyal to this town and lots of young people move back here to raise their families after college, etc. Dan freaked out when we first found out Lily's teacher was a man, but he has mellowed out after finding out that it's sort of par for the course here. Although, he does still affectionately refer to him as "the pedophile".
Here's Kamille Nate and Lily on their first day of school.
Lily was up early and super excited on the first day of school, but now the thrill is gone and I have to prod her constantly in the morning to have her ready in time to catch the bus.
When we were shopping for a school backpack, Lily wanted to get a Hannah Montana backpack (she doesn't even know who that is) and I was like, "No way, you're 6 years old and there will be no Hannah Montana, or High School Musical, or Brats backpacks. You can get princesses or something like that." She settled on this one, only because it came with a matching lunch bag.
Here's Dan walking the girls to the bus, just across the field from our house.
Kamille was so sweet, leading Lily onto the bus and showing her the ropes at her new school.
When Dan and I went back into the house after the bus left, he asked me if I was shedding a tear. I raised my eyebrows, said "um, no" and he said, "a tear of joy?"
Picture me smiling...