It was inevitable.
After eight glorious weeks of summer, filled with enormous amounts of fun, a heart-filling trip to Oregon, endless hugs and laughter and, yes some frustration, impatience and yelling… It finally came.
Kindergarten. The thing I have dreaded, fret over, lost sleep from, and worried about for over a year.
G started school with two teeth gone, and one waiting to fall. He started it bravely. So bravely that most of my own fears were assuaged; a relief considering what I thought was going to happen his first day. We were allowed to follow him to his class that day, and after his new teacher had them all sit on the multi-colored rug, she abruptly asked us to wave goodbye. G turned to me, the panic in his eyes only mirroring my own. I smiled at him and shrugged as if to say, “I guess this is it!” But he wouldn’t have it. He boldly asked his new teacher if he could run to give us hugs, and she incredibly kindly, and against her better judgement, said he could. He milked the next two minutes, going back and forth between Russ and I, hugging, kissing, hugging again. Then he looked toward the rug, saw his future, and told us he had to go. One last hug each, and out the door we went, leaving our little man to start his first steps on the road of education.
Or something like that.
He started on a Tuesday. They get out an hour early on Tuesdays. So I showed up at 1:19, waiting with the other parents, and with bated breath, to see how day one went.
The first words out of his mouth were, “I loved it so much, I wish I could stay longer.”
Relief doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
That night we sat down to do his homework together and immediately began fighting. My child just wants to know how to do everything without being shown. So I had to back off a bit and let him learn and flail and ultimately succeed. We made a deal that night that I would always sit with him, but only help if he asks. I’m not kidding when I tell you that homework time is one of my favorite times of day now.
Day two was the tough one. I was without Russ’ support, and I couldn’t follow G to class that day. I could only stand on the gray concrete where they line up, and watch him follow his already beloved teacher around the corner to his classroom. He was excited and happy. I was, too. And then, as soon as he was out of sight, I teared up. This was real now. No turning back.
Week two began with G wanting to run laps before school. They give the kids tickets for each lap they run and then they count the tickets up for each class. The classes with the most laps run in each grade get recognized at Monday morning assembly, and get a certificate to hang up in class. Somehow we are getting out of the house by 7:30 most days so that he can run and work up a real sweat before line up. At this morning’s assembly, they announced that his room was the winner last week with 130 laps. G ran 24 of those.
And there have been changes in me, too. I work out every day now, right after I drop him off. I’m going to bed earlier and waking up brighter. I am letting myself learn from him now, because he knows a lot of stuff about how to act and how to be patient and happy. I’m cherishing every moment even more than I was.
He lost his third tooth last week. He has made new friends. He thinks his teacher is beautiful and brilliant. He loves his music teacher. He was sad this morning just before the walk to class. It was an especially busy weekend and those are the hardest to come out of. But I have a feeling when I pick him up today he’ll say that things were great at school, and he’ll ask for a snack and he’ll want to know what fun thing we’re doing this afternoon. And I will look at him in complete awe, because I’m so amazed at how lovely this transition has been.
I spent over a year worrying about this time.
In just two weeks, he has proven to me that I worry too much.