Tuesday- "Did you know that 'barf' is the same as 'throw up'?"
Wednesday- "I had peas, AND beans, AND corn, AND pink milk at lunch. Those are all of my favorite things!"
Thursday- (after school) "Will you sit/lay/cuddle/read/play with me??" and, "I missed you all day. I love you all the way to the sun and the moon and the stars and the Milk Wave."
Friday- Me: Did you have a fun day today?
Emma: No, I just pushed everybody.
Emma: On the swings.
Me: Ooooohh. :)
Yes, recess ranks high, and has almost always been the first thing mentioned when I ask about her day. She has said that they have an awfully small playground, though, for so many kids.
Sigh...where do I begin? The first morning was very much a blur. It all happened so fast! Hurry up and get dressed. Hurry and eat your breakfast. Hurry! Brush your teeth, get your shoes on, grab your lunch box, get in the car!
We arrive at the school with plenty of time to walk in and say good-bye. And that's all there was to do. We know where her class is, which is her locker, her supplies have already been turned in....there was no reason to linger. Hmmmm....very sneaky, teachers...!
I tried though. I had so much to tell her!
"Remember to eat quickly at lunch, you don't have much time!"
"Don't forget to drink your water at snack time. The juice is for lunch."
"Your rest-time towel is in your backpack."
"Pay attention and stay with your class when you leave the room."
And on and on....
I took a couple of pictures in the room. Several show signs of the slightest apprehension. But not for long. Emma found a seat at a table with two other girls and began coloring on some butcher paper. I want to watch to see what she would draw. I want to see who else would sit at her table. What will they talk about? What will they do next?
Realizing that the whiny child I hear amidst the shuffle is mine, I look back and see Jason, struggling to contain Miss A. We should go. I tear up before I reach the door. The walk to the car seems to take much longer than the walk just minutes ago to the room. It's normal to feel this way, right? She'll be ok? Will I?
As we inch through the incredibly long line at the only intersection that leads to the school, I'm struggling.
I just left my sweet, sheltered child in a room full of people I don't know. I know nothing about their values, beliefs, experiences, or what kind of things they are exposed to on a daily basis. How can this be right? In a matter of 60 seconds, our whole world is turned around. And there's no turning back.
After dropping Jason off, I somehow make my way to meet some fellow Kinder-Mom friends for a quick shoulder-to-cry-on-breakfast, before heading off to my new job at the preschool. The whole day is a fog. I have no idea what kind of conversations I held, how I accomplished anything, if anything....until the moment I was far enough into the car rider pick up lane to see her. Sitting in a straight line with the other Kinder pick ups. I watched her as I moved up in line. Sitting quietly. Taking it all in. Looking for me??
Then she spots us. A huge smile spreads across her freckled face. Arms waving a wild greeting. Looking around for her teacher, to announce, "My mom is here!"
Another teacher with a bullhorn sees our sign and calls, "Emma Keas!Kinder! Red cone!"
Emma stands and confidently walks directly to the red cone. Watches me pull up to a stop. And before the car door is even shut, asks, "What took you so long??"
So we survived. The first day. The first week. There have been converstations already about hearing things, repeating things, and making good choices. And I know there will be more.
Already she's come home talking about fund raisers, Marathon Kids competitions, and Five-A-Day healthy eating incentives.
I've seen a paint and sand art "palm" tree (made with palm prints!), a self portrait of Emma at the table with a plate of something she "would NEVER eat" (a tomato), and a gluey noodle AB pattern strip.
She's decided that she doesn't want to wear her $8 school t-shirt "because it's not really a pretty color", and that she wishes she could have "a chocolate chip granola bar for snack time, like my friend does".
And I'm ok. She's ok. And we will be. We will enjoy every exciting part of her school career, and we will weather every hurdle. We will keep our faith, and trust that we're raising a strong, smart, self-confident little girl.
I will be at PTA meetings, volunteer meetings, parent reading days, lunches and field trips, and I will enjoy every. single. minute. as long as I can.
And Baby, when you're reading this...(you know who you are) Thank you. I could not do this without you, and all that you do. Thank you.
Pics from day one....
And day two....
....is how we walk in the hall. It's called "duck tail and bubble"!