Saturday, August 24, 2013

Split Decision

Teacher letters came today.  This day is one of anticipation for students and parents in my town, and it has been discussed animatedly for the last few days on the group Facebook page.  I waited with patient anticipation for the mailman, who was running late (probably due to all of the letters he had to deliver on a Saturday).  When I heard him, I sent the kids to the mailbox to get the news.

Like most parents around town, I was excited to see "who we got."  Unlike many parents, I opened the letters with twinmom acceptance.  I knew that two different teacher names would stare up at me from the page.  I had requested that the kids be in separate classes this year.  And I knew that reading the letters from the teachers would be my first introduction to managing that separation.

This split comes on the heels of a summer where the kids played beautifully together - creating stories with toys, making games in the pool, building elaborate lego sets.  Even as I write this post, they are upstairs, engrossed in their collaboration.  They had been there for over 2 hours, undisturbed and somewhat perturbed when I finally called them to lunch.  "We are putting on a lego show," they told me.  Their teamwork, their absolute trust in each other, their "in-synch-ness" - these have developed this summer in a way that reveals their twinness.  In two weeks, their time to foster that close relationship will be cut to virtually none.

I know that they will be "fine" when they are separated, and I know that socially, emotionally, and academically it is the right decision for them.  But it is still a major change for our family - one that I began to manage as I read the letters from the teachers today.  Both were warm, and from the tone and content of the letters, I can already tell that both are a good match for the child assigned to them.  Both were filled with excitement and energy that all parents hope to see in their children's teachers.  And, of course, both shared expectations for the school year, including lists of "what to bring."  These lists were different, and I've already forgotten who needs a pencil box and who needs a water bottle because there is no fountain in the classroom.

Managing two sets of teacher expectations in routines and homework, 34 new friends and their parents, and independent twins is something I am ready for.  I've done it before.  It will be an adjustment and a challenge and an exciting new year.