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Buses leave, brunch beckons
Mothers share food, fellowship as school year begins
after party 5 jd
This group of moms gets together for a brunch every year on the first day their children go back to school. At 22 months old, Zachary Freet, front, isn't quite sure what to make of the commotion.

For thousands of parents in neighborhoods across Forsyth County, Monday got off to a busy, if not bittersweet, start.

It was no different in the Bridle Ridge subdivision in south Forsyth, where Michele Weaver sent her youngest of four children off to school.

She and husband DeWitt met with other parents and their elementary school-age children at a bus stop on Bridle Ridge Drive in time for the 7:45 a.m. ride to Johns Creek Elementary.

Weaver's fifth-grader, Mary Evans, and second-grader, Jack, were all right. But Weaver and her kindergartener, Landry, had a tearful morning.

"She cried until she got on the bus and then she went and sat with her sister and she was fine," Weaver said.

But Weaver has a remedy for the back-to-school mommy blues.

For the past seven years, she has organized a brunch on the first day of school. She joins with other mothers in her neighborhood to laugh, cry and share stories over an assortment of homemade casseroles, sweets and snacks.

"I started doing this brunch the first year Forde went to school because I didn't want to be by myself all day," Weaver said.

Forde, her oldest son, started the sixth grade this year at South Forsyth Middle School.

Monique Dearth lives in Laurel Springs, but is a former resident of Bridle Ridge. She said she had a "totally smooth morning" getting her fifth-grader, Kendall, and her third-grader, Harrison, off to Sharon Elementary School.

For Kendall, Dearth said, the most exciting part of being a fifth-grader was the fact that she got to sit in the last seat on the bus.

"She told her brother this morning he wasn't allowed to sit in the back because he's only in the third grade," Dearth said.

Ashley Cavendar said goodbye to her fifth-grader, Blake, and second-grader, Elizabeth.  She said her son and the Weavers' daughter, Mary Evans, have been in the same class together for the past few years.

"This is a big year for him so it's kind of a big year for me," Cavendar said. "He's excited, so it's easier for me. I'm not ready to think about middle school yet."

Cavendar said she loves her neighborhood, despite the fact the children of Bridle Ridge have had to switch schools four times recently through redistricting.

"We have such a huge group of kids that are all so close," she said. "They get to grow up together and they do stuff together in the neighborhood, so it's just one big family."