Our oldest child started school today.
Last night, we had picked out her outfit: jeans and a new t-shirt. She had worn her backpack around as I prepped her lunch and made sure we had everything – “What else do I need?”. I could tell she was getting excited. This morning, M could barely contain herself – jumping around the dining room – so excited to go to her first day of school. She posed for the requisite photographs outside and then insisted on holding both her backpack and her lunchbox on her lap on the drive to school. As we walked towards the building, she held my hand and I could feel her start to get a little nervous, but not too bad. Her teacher, Mrs. Johnson, directed us to put her backpack and lunch in her cubby outside, her water bottle in her “snack cubby” in the room, and her snack in the fridge. And then, she was free to play as everyone arrived. She chewed on her fingers a little bit, but never once clung to me. She never once cried, never once looked at me in fear. And after a few moments ran off to the play kitchen and started playing. With a smile at Mrs. Johnson, and checking the sign-in sheet to make sure she was noted for after-school child care, I was off down the hall. No tears from either of us this first day!
I’d call that a success.
When I picked her up from school, she had to tell me all about it. How they had to stand in line to go EVERYWHERE. How a boy fell down and hurt his knee, “But don’t worry, Mom. He got a band-aid.” How she wanted the exact same lunch I had packed her today, but to cut the grapes up. “They were huge. I showed everyone. They were amazed. They were huge!” I asked her if she made any new friends. “Yes, but I don’t remember their names.”
And so we enter a new era.