Wednesday, August 21, 2013

His Journey

The school year has begun!

Here's a photo log of what has transpired lately:
About 10 days out from school starting. Such a big kid, now.

Indulging me with some cutie-patootie photos.

His final day as a preschooler.

I added up how many school days he would go through before he graduates high school. 2,340 school days. He's surprised and exasperated.
We read a book: The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing. Follows the same pattern as T'was the Night Before Christmas story, but about getting ready for school and stuff instead of Christmas. Then, he was off to the land of nod.
He woke up ready to start school. He was happy and very excited about his new adventure. I was relieved that he had that up-and-at 'em attitude.
Photos: First Day of Kindergarten August 19, 2013; I'm a Kindergartener paper; Stop Crying Mom chalkboard sign.
The dry erase board photos didn't turn out as well as planned. I a) couldn't find a thicker, darker marker or b) don't own any. I picked up some when I was shopping for school supplies but they were for the my son's class...not for me to use. It also didn't help that it was still dark out before we left to go to school.
When I grow up I want to be a: Super Hero. Again, would have been better with a darker, thicker marker. Then, in the car and ready to go to school. Love the smiles!

I dropped my daughter off at daycare so I could just concentrate on the boy starting school. I didn't want to drag her along with all of the craziness of the first day of school. The primary school is about two blocks away from the daycare they go to, so to avoid the madness of first day traffic, we walked to school from the daycare. We had plenty of time and I could talk to him about what was going to happen and he could ask me questions.

We found his hall and classroom. He found his name on the wall to leave his backpack, but he got to sit on the floor and wait for his classmates first. His hall had a countdown celebration and they got to throw confetti after the countdown and cheer. Fun!

I am so glad that he wasn't clingy or upset. He had been clingy the day before at open house. He's not worried on the photo on the right, he's just waiting.
We had been preparing him for a while for this day. We've had many conversations and read lots of books.
We've introduced new activities for him, beginning with fall t-ball last fall. The first day of that practice didn't go so well. He wouldn't participate. The second practice was much better, then he was fine.
One day he decided he wanted to join a kids Sunday school class (all on his own, no prompting from us. Awesome!). I decided both kids needed to go to children's church instead of sitting on the sanctuary with us being a distraction (fighting and arguing with each other) since the girl had outgrown the nursery. That has been going pretty good. They have each other.
He did spring t-ball. Then, the summer came and I put them in a gymnastics program just for the summer, and had them go to VBS.
All of the prep work paid off on Monday.
He threw his confetti and we walked into his class. He gave me a few hugs, there were no tears from either of us, and went to sit at the front of the room with his friends to start the day.
While we were waiting for the countdown, there was one boy a couple of kids away from him who was having a hard time. New things are scary and it was getting the best of him. He was so upset. It was hard for me to watch. I know how he felt. When I was his age I had a hard time adjusting to new situations like the first few days of school. I felt bad for him. His mom was having a hard time, too. I really wanted to help her and tell her he would be ok, but I was getting emotional just watching them. If I had tried to help I, too, would have been reduced to a puddle. I didn't want my son to see me upset and have it spiral downhill from there. I was able to give her a knowing smile because I have been there. It could have easily have been my son.
Once I got my son in class I asked him if he would sit next to his new friend and be a good friend to him, help him, tell him it would be ok. He told me he would be his friend but didn't want to sit next to him. *scowl/frown* We'll need to talk more about being a good friend and helping others. There was another kid in his class that he is already friends with and he wanted to sit with him. Understandable. It was someone he was familiar with. He went to sit down and I left him there, ready to be a big kid.
I went home to a quiet house. The first few minutes after I sat down and just looked around, something felt off. Then I realized it was because the house was quiet. It was a nice moment and I just sat there in it for a while. After I enjoyed the moment for a bit I did some housework and kept busy until it was time for school to get out.
My son was so excited to see me in the car line. I asked him a simple question about how his day went and without missing a beat he said, "I LOVED it!" He was so enthusiastic and emphatic about his statement. I was so happy for him. He went on to say that he didn't want to come home, he didn't want me to come get him, he wanted to stay at school. He asked if he could come back tomorrow. Yes! I guess that made up for the fact that he had to go home first. :)
His journey to Kindergarten was made easier by the groundwork we had laid beforehand. He's ready to grow up. He's joining a whole group of kids beginning their school journey for the first time. It's making me happy and sad. I'm only partially ready to let go, while he is sort of ready to spread his wings a little more. While we were preparing him for this day, we were preparing ourselves as well. It helped both us.
Have a great year, Son. You are going to do fantastic!
Love you,