Our Five Ring Circus: The First Day of School - Going Back in Person!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The First Day of School - Going Back in Person!

The First Day of School

Last week, on Tuesday, September 8th, our kids headed back to school in person! If you read this post, you know the decision to send them was practically impossible to make, but we decided to give it a try. We are almost two weeks in, and so far so good. My kids were so excited to go back, and they actually enjoy going to school each day!

This year, we had two big changes. Dylan decided to go back to public school instead of continuing with cyber school. He missed high school a lot more than he expected he would! This is the first year that Lily and Liam are in the same building, and it won't happen again until Lily is in 11th grade and Liam is in 9th grade. Lily is so excited to be in the same school as her baby brother!

We're nearing the end of week two, and we're finally getting into a routine. It was a big adjustment after being home almost 24/7. I don't think any of us will ever take school for granted again. Dylan, Lexie, and Lily said it isn't even that bad wearing a mask all day. I think they're just really happy to get that small bit of normal back into their lives! (I absolutely agree!)

The first day of school started out really early, but everyone was eager to go! Dylan and Lexie wake up at 5:55, and their bus comes at 6:40. We only live a few miles from the school, but I can't drive them and make it back in time to start getting Lily, Liam, and Coen ready. I feel bad about it, but thankfully, they are one of the first stops on the way home!

The First Day of School During a Pandemic

Back To School in a pandemic

After Dylan and Lexie left for school, I had about 45 minutes of quiet before I had to wake up Lily and Liam. (That hasn't really lasted. Either Liam or Coen is now waking up early most days!) Lily jumped out of bed with a smile, and Liam had a huge grin on his face and immediately put on his backpack! The next hour was a flurry of activity as we got ready, loaded everyone into the car, and drove to the school.

Down syndrome

Initially, we were considering holding Liam back because he is the youngest in his grade, and the school year ended so abruptly. If he moved on to 2nd grade, he would be in a new building with staff he never met, but Lily was in that school and was really hoping he would be joining her. We ended up advancing him to 2nd grade, and although we miss his teachers and his amazing para, it was the right choice for him! I was so worried, but he walked right in with his new para, and Lily held his other hand. 

Down syndrome blog

Drop off and pick up was a bit of a mess the first few days since most parents are driving their kids to avoid the bus, but it was running more smoothly this week - THEN they changed the method completely while I was writing this post. I was able to watch Liam through the window at pick up. He was sitting quietly next to his friend, Dolly, looking completely exhausted and overwhelmed. Then Lily walked into the room, and his face completely lit up. He grinned, and when she walked over to him, he stood up and wrapped his arms around her. They sat down next to each other, still holding hands. It was the sweetest thing, and it's like that every day!

All four kids ended up having a great day - Coen and I included! Everyone was so excited to share the details of their days, and couldn't wait to go back the next day. We were exhausted by the time night arrived, so we all went to bed early. 

Of course, we had to take pictures to document the first day before winding down for the night! It was too dark to get decent pictures of Dylan and Lexie, and too rushed to take more than a few pictures of Lily and Liam, so we took them after everyone got home from school. They only grumbled a tiny bit, but they were cooperative, so it went quickly!

The Lucky Few

Dylan headed back to public high school! He was so excited to be there again with his girlfriend and friends. 

10th Grade

First Day of High School

Lexie started 8th grade! It will be her last year at the middle school. Next stop? High school with Dylan!

8th Grade

First Day of Middle School

Lily is in 4th grade! It's also her last year in the elementary school. Next year she will be in the 5th and 6th grade building.

4th Grade

Pittsburgh Blog

Back To School Photo Ideas

Liam is in 2nd grade in a new building! He is so excited to go to school with Lily.

2nd Grade

Special Needs Blog

First Day of School Photo Ideas

Parenting Blog


Last, but not least, Coen officially reached 18 months on the same day!

18 months old

Pittsburgh Photographer

Monthly photo ideas for baby

So far, the school year is going well for all of them! The novelty hasn't worn off yet, and now we get an awesome week-long break for a fun family vacation that we planned prior to the return date getting pushed back two weeks! We have never gone away during the school year before. It has been two years since our last family vacation, so we're all very excited! Blogging continues to take a backseat to life right now, and has been lacking, but now that 4 of my 5 kids are back in school, I plan to get back into a blogging routine when we return. NOW, here's hoping the germs stay far away, and the school year can continue as planned!

Big Family Blog

How is the school year going for you?

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