School started and for the very first time, the boys were able to go back to the same school after summer break. During the period of time they were in state care, in addition to never all being at the same school, the inconsistency of foster care and living situations had them changing schools frequently. Not having much opportunity to make friends and even less opportunity to tell them goodbye.
So on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, we took the boys to open house at school to see their new classrooms and meet their new teachers. They initially seemed shocked to see many of the same kids they knew from last year. The boys were visibly pleased with themselves when another kid or a teacher would speak to them in the hallway. They beamed, elbowing each other and smiling. I never want to forget these things.
Can you imagine this thing we all took for granted as children, that most of us felt from before we could remember? Feeling it for the first time when you are old enough to realize the difference?
The feeling of being recognized.
Being cared for.
My boys got to feel that at school this year. No moving. No newness, unless you count the backpacks and lunch boxes that they each picked out with painstaking care. Returning to the same school... one more little proof for them that they are finally home. That was the best of August.