We've been balancing this routine for years -- first with one child, then with two, and now with three. Each year as the girls grow, the dynamics change slightly. The oldest spends her days at school now. The middle child will attend pre-school a few mornings per week.
I know that it works. We've made it work for years.
On these first days back, though, I forget exactly how it works. I wear the routine like borrowed clothes. I know that I'm covered, but I feel out-of-sorts, not myself.
Early this morning I brushed my oldest daughter's hair and helped her pick her outfit for her first day of second grade. I had to leave before she climbed on the bus, though.
I saw the pictures that my husband took of the girls hugging each other before Reese left for the day, her backpack slung on her small shoulders, her smile bright even though this morning she had confessed, "Mom, I'm nervous."
She forgets exactly how it works, too.
Right now, it feels a bit uncomfortably new for all of us. I'm reminding myself -- all of us, really -- that it does work.
We'll remember how soon enough.