Today was a big day in our house. And I know some who haven't reached this point with their children don't think it will be a big deal. But it is. This is the start of living with a purpose...not just playing, napping, pooping, and eating. It is a time when your children leave you for the day with the goal of learning, growing, and preparing to live life as a productive and kind citizen. It is the end of choosing the care provider and having the impact of a smaller number of children that you can control. It is a time when he will interact with children on the playground, on the bus, in the hallways, in the classroom, etc that you have no control over. The fact is...whether they have been leaving you since they were three months old to spend their days away from you being loved up by a daycare provider or grandparent or whether they have spent their time puttering around the house, holding your hand in the parking lots, and running errands home with you...it is a big deal.
So this morning Charley woke up...sleeping later than usual - WHAT THE HECK - because Henry slept later too. (I am rolling my eyes and shaking my head right now...and Ed thought it was funny). He was jazzed for his first day of Kindergarten. He had ordered up scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast, and I threw on some strawberries. Charley polished off his plate and announced, "Man, I am full." Ahh, a satisfied mama knew her boy would go off with a full belly. He got dressed this morning without a fight, in a nice innocent kindergarten type shirt and shorts, knowing that tomorrow (day 2) he can wear his new Darth Vader shirt.
School here doesn't start until after 9 am. And at first this seemed so late...but today I realized that we should have no problem in our house being ready and out the door because there is really no excuse to be rushing...unless my boys miraculously start sleeping really late in the morning. So I am happy with our start time.
Daddy was home and we took our start of the school pictures out on the deck, in the same corner we have taken them in the last two years for preschool.
Then we headed out the door. Charley was greeted with a message from the family who loves him.
And our walk began. Yesterday morning was rough here. The boys were at each other and I spent much of my time breaking up disputes over pointless stuff. And this of course depressed me, since it was our last official day all home together...but then I realized this was fate's way of telling me it was time for a change in routine...and I think I had a friend or two that pointed this out to me too. So I was feeling pretty strong - emotionally. We arrived at school to a crowd of students and parents gathered. For everyone else this was their third day of school. But for the kindergartners this was day one.
As the doors were unlocked and the crowd entered it hit me. My son was now part of the herd. And he was being moved through the doors of a new building that would bring him so much joy. A world of his own - that I would only know from watching from the sidelines, volunteering occasionally, and the bits and pieces he shares with me. I started to tear up but kept telling myself that I had to hold it together so that he didn't think about mama being sad.
As he entered the classroom he was greeted by his teacher and he presented her with a small bouquet of flowers (a tradition we started with his preschool teachers).
I reached over and gave him a quick peck and in he was herded. He got his backpack in his locker and joined his good friend Elly at a table to color. He turned around at one point and gave daddy a wave. I squeezed in and gave a quick "Love you! See you in a bit." And off we went.
As we walked out of the school Henry paused, looked up at daddy and me, and said:
AT this point we had to explain that Charley would stay at school for a bit and we would come back and get him. He was on the verge of breaking down but I had the plan of baking cupcakes on our agenda so that distracted him enough...but as you can see as he walked home he was a bit puzzled by this whole predicament he was in. Life has changed for this little bugger. But it will be okay. He needs this time to be a little boy - without his big brother directing his play, he deserves these next few months of one on one time with me, and he needs to be reminded that blocks, cars, and crayons are just as fun as guns, swords, and Star Wars guys.
So we baked...
We settled in for lunch...egg salad sandwiches, soup, and cupcakes! And the afternoon was spent enjoying Grandma...while Mama and Daddy went off to get a glimpse of the next addition to our family. More on that later.
He is excited for tomorrow - and that my friends - is all that a mama wishes for.