Monday, August 24, 2015

A Week to Prepare

Dear Ian,

I'm not ready to write this letter.  Even a whole week late, I'm still not ready to write the words, "you are a kindergarten student."  It's not rational in the slightest, but I feel like if I hold those words in my brain rather than freeing them to the world, maybe I can keep you from growing up so dang fast.  But here we are.  Today is Monday, August 24, 2015, and you have been a kindergarten student for exactly one week.  Last Monday was your first day of elementary school, and I simply can't believe that my little boy is old enough to be in kindergarten.

Believe it or not, I didn't cry on your first day of school.  I'm actually sort of proud of that fact; I kept it together.  I was also at work.  Your Daddy did the honors of First Day of School drop off.  I had to be in my classroom to help other parents adjust and transition their little ones into my care, while a few hundred yards away, you were settling in to your new classroom.  Of course, I had to send a text to see how you were doing and how you handled the big change, but like you've always done, you dealt with it just fine.  You compare your new school to Advent quite a bit, and there were days this week when you weren't sure you wanted to go back, but you're doing ok.  It's a big move to make, and I know eventually you'll get the hang of it.

We did the traditional "First Day of School" photos, and I took a couple of extra, too, just because I only get one shot at this Mom-of-a-Kindergartener thing, so I am going to make sure I remember every teeny, tiny detail.

Starting with lunch.  Yes, I am a giant dork; I took a picture of your lunch box.  But deal with it, and work with me here.  Eventually you will be a giant high school student, and you will drive a car (after having the beejeezus scared out of you about driving a 3,000 pound weapon - see Ma, I listen!), and you'll drive off campus for lunch, and the days of these lovingly packed lunches with their sweet lunch box notes will be a thing of the past.  So cool it, park it and finish dealing with me being a dork.  Love you. 
 Wow!  Look how grown up you look!  The gap-toothed smile does not help.  Sniff.
As usual, we went outside before loading up and took your Back to School photo.  And as usual, Mommy just didn't get it together enough to have our lawn mowed for this momentous occasion, so like the last few years, we borrowed our neighbor's lawn.  This year it was Mr. Leo's.  Next year, I promise - or I will try - to have ours cut so we can actually prove that we have a yard.

Anyhoo.  Then it was time to start our day.  Daddy took you to school, and I headed off to work.  My first day wasn't really a first day; it was just our orientation, so I was finished a little after noon.  And I sorta felt lost as to what to do next.  Normally, I'd zip to Grandma Brooks' house to get you, because usually, she would pick you up after your portion of the Advent orientation, because I had to stay.  Now, you were in school until three, and I had nothing to do.  It was weird.  So I went home and cleaned and basically just piddled around until I could get my boy and hear all about your day.

Picking you up from the car pick up line has proven to be an adventure.  God bless Ms. Eirin and all the SAS staff for dealing with those emotionally charged Moms and Dads trying to get to their precious kiddos.  But you jumped in to the car and gave me the biggest and brightest hello ever.  And it just made my day to hear that your first day had been a success.  With P.E. and everything.

Mommy was sneaky...
So here we are a week later.  Like I said, you're still feeling out this kindergarten thing, and at one point last week, you actually said to me, "I guess I'll go back and see if it gets better."  Ha!  I've been in your room once to volunteer, and it was neat to watch you work.  I got to spy on you for a bit before you realized I was there, and my heart nearly burst with pride as I watched you finish your work, take it to your teacher and ask a question.  You got your answer, went back to your table and finished something, and then turned it in just like you were supposed to do.  And that little snippet of time showed me just how much you've grown and matured, and you really LOOKED like an elementary school student.  You weren't just my baby.

Classroom "family" tree
Your teachers are really great, and I love the classroom environment.  She greets each of you at the door every morning and asks if you'd like a special hand shake, a high five or a hug.  I appreciate this a TON, because you're not much of a hugger, and she recognizes your need for personal space.  I also appreciate the fact that one day you MAY need or want a hug, and she's willing to give it.  That makes this mommy heart happy.  The school is based on the foundation of Conscious Discipline and the "Classroom Family," and I know you will develop a strong bond with your friends and teachers.

So yay!  We made it through the week, despite that the two of us may or may not have been ready for such a big transition.  Well, you were probably more ready than I was, but still.  We did it!  And only 35 more to go for this school year.  Or something like that.  I dunno.  I know you're going to have a great year, and I am in awe of how much you have grown and how much you're going to grow over this first year in school.  I love you so very much, and I can't wait to see what unfolds.

All my heart and love, Little Bear,

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