Today I called the kids' school district, and with a little bit of wheedling I got them to give me the kids' tentative bus pickup times. We've always lived within the walk zone of my kids' old school, so the world of busses was new to us.
In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised about what I learned. My kids will be taking two different busses, from two different bus companies...leaving from two different stops. I had imagined standing on the corner near our house, waiting for one bus and then another while holding hands with my preschooler. I didn't imagine hustling my daughter out of the house before 6:30, and then taking my son and preschooler to another stop three blocks away, 20 minutes later.
So many times this summer I've said, "Now it feels real." When I got my first auto-dialer call from my son's new school. When I found out who my daughter's teacher was. When we bought school supplies and my kids both picked the same pencil pouch, and my daughter told my son, "This way we can still be alike even though we're in different schools."
I'm running out of anger about this, which is probably good. The reality is setting in...my kids, especially my son really are that different. Too different for their neighborhood school. Too different to navigate through the system smoothly. At this point all I can hope is that it's worth it and the new schools will help and appreciate them.