As we come to the close of our second week in school, I’d like to write a few words about the first week of school. I am absolutely finished with the defining “first” moment of school. That’s too much pressure for this nutcase. I took the machine gun approach to celebrating the return to class.
There was not one single moment of reflection and melancholy, but a whole blob of them coming at me fast and furious. So many of my friends and family have asked about Mason’s first-first day. Did he cry? How did you do? Yada yada and all that.
Well, here’s the thing. No one cried. Well, no one from our family cried as they walked into class on the first day that attendance was taken. But there were some tears. Since everyone is looking for a sob story, I'll piece it together here.
On New School Year’s Eve the kindergarten teacher hosted an ice cream social. Brilliant. There was ice cream, no tears. Well, except from me when I watched her love on another person’s kid that I didn’t even know. She was so amazing that I teared up with awe at her ability to love small, grubby, children who were for all intents and purposes strangers to her. I also breathed a major, and I do mean major sigh of relief.
Then there was the meet-and-greet. This is a new tradition at our school. It’s like freshmen orientation for everyone, all grades, all students, plus parents. It’s also the day you haul all your school supplies to school. They take attendance, which is to say they check to see who brought 4 reams of paper, 120 paper plates, 100 gallon-sized ziplocks, 48 sharpened pencils, 24 glue sticks, etc. I know for a fact that when I started school back in 1980 all of my school supplies fit nicely in my backpack. Someone needs to teach the district about supply-chain management and the power of buying in bulk. Wait, that’s another post for another day.
No one cries at the meet-and-greet. We had some nerves. Namely Mason absolutely could not bring himself to eat breakfast. But Cooper was delighted to see his buddies and settled into his seat in the middle of his very favorite people. Cooper’s teacher has previously taught 6th graders. I believe that 2nd graders will try her patience, but could not be happier with her level of expectation.
Following a very busy but mostly positive day we drove to Mason’s swimming lesson. Guess who was sitting in the lobby of our swim school?!?!!? Our principal! Mason stood still in his flip-flops but did not say a word. He went into his lesson and I proceeded to explain to the principal why it was a special treat to see him outside of school. When Mason was done with his lesson he leaned in and whispered to me, “See, I told you he. Is. EVERYWHERE.”
|Please note Coop's choice of socks.|
By Tuesday we were all photographed to pieces. But this was the real first-day of school. The boys elected – independently – to wear matching, highlighter-yellow shirts. (Jenn Webinaci you better find this reference amazing.) Then, we were late. We were late to the FIRST day of school! Yes, we’re those parents. So, Cooper ran to his line all by himself and barely waved goodbye. Steve and I walked with Mason to his.
Again, the amazing kindergarten teacher led the kids in a cheer about having no fear and being brave. This cheer was for the parents. Then she posed with each child for a picture. Then they went into class. Mason did not cry. I did not cry. Steve did not cry (well, maybe he did but he wears really dark sunglasses). Then my bestie came up to me and gave my arm a squeeze and I wanted to cry, but I did not. The corner of one eye got a little wet, but it could have been allergies.
Kisses all around and parting of ways and I was off to start my new life as mother with things to do without two in tow. I didn’t miss them until 2:30 when I would normally be picking up Mason from preschool. Then I basically drummed my fingers for an hour before I picked them up.
No one cried. Well, not until Thursday evening in the car. All good questions come while driving in the car. Mason blurted, “Hey mom, when is my half day?”
“Oh buddy. You don’t have half days anymore. You’re all grown up.” Then I looked back to see his response.
His chin actually quivered, he sniffed. Then he bravely blinked away a tear and a half, and stated, “OK, I can handle it.”