Yesterday was the big day. We've known it was coming. We've discussed it and planned for it and tried to prepare you as best we could. There weren't any worries about you not being ready, or not being able to handle it. You are such a smart girl and you have loved going places basically since you were born. The only tears at the nursery, or daycare and preschool were when you had to leave to come home. You've been anticipating starting at your new school ever since you caught sight of the playground when we drove past it two years ago. This last week you've literally been counting down the days. Now, finally, it was here.
It wasn't quite as easy for me. After this you are officially a grade schooler. For the next 12 years you'll be spending hours of your day in school. It's almost like your first real job in a way. You're gone from home for six and a half whole hours. You have to navigate hallways and classrooms. You have to get out your lunch and budget enough time to eat it. You have to get along with others and you have to learn.
Our morning started off a little hectic, since we stayed up a little too late Sunday night, but you were so excited you didn't even mind being dragged out of bed. We rushed you through your breakfast and getting ready. I paused to snap a couple of pictures and you were out the door. And just that fast the moment was gone. Somehow in my mind it went by much more slowly. Daddy said when he dropped you off excitement was radiating from every pore, you could hardly contain yourself. He helped you get situated, find your seat and your cubby, then stood back to watch. The day started off with Spanish time and he was curious to see how you'd take it. Other then a few glances his way for reassurance, you seemed to take it in stride. You told me later the only thing you didn't like about Spanish time was you couldn't ask as many questions. He left about 40 minutes later and you were on your own. It was no surprise when he picked you up that you said you wanted to stay longer. When you got home you were happy to tell me all about your day. There were a couple of stories that illustrated what a different world it was. You told me you really liked the lunch I packed, but the bell rang before you were done and you had to stop eating, even though you were still hungry. I was happy to see you had eaten all your carrots, crackers and cheese and what was left was some of your chips, your grapes and your cookies. Even when no one is watching you save the sweets for last. You also told me that during recess you lost track of your teacher and that made you sad. So you sat on a bench and a friend ("who wasn't in my class")kept you company for awhile. Then the bell rang and the friend left and you didn't know where to go.Then another teacher came and took you to your class. I have to admit that my mommy imagination runs wild with scary thoughts of you being vulnerable and alone on the playground. My mommy heart breaks at the image of you sitting there all alone, afraid even to play because you don't want to be lost. Together we'll make it over the little bumps, and before you know it, school will be old hat. In the afternoon you told us you wished you could go to school everyday. We reassured you that except for weekends you would be! This morning you were just as excited to start another day. You told Daddy you were starting to dream, but then you remembered you could get up and go to school, so you decided to wake up instead.
I know it the future there will be days you'll complain about school and talk about how much you hate it. So, for now I'll share in your excitement, nurture your love for learning, thrill in your discoveries of new things and making friends, and hide in my heart the twinges of sorrow that my baby is so big.