Happy Friday! For those of you with school age children, congrats on making it through the first 2 weeks of school! Hopefully everyone is adjusting well. I thought after a year of preparing and writing about getting ready to start Kindergarten, I’d share how our experience has been. And I do mean OUR experience … I was so focused on making this a great transition for Jake, that I was not prepared for just how much I would be affected … I mean, I knew I’d be emotional, but I didn’t expect to feel so out of whack. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
As you may already know, CMS does a staggered start for Kindergartners, where each child is assigned one day the first week and they only have 5 or so kids in each class on that day … that way they get a lot of one on one with the teacher, learn the ropes, and kind of ease into things. Friday was Jake’s first day and for him, it could not come soon enough! Matt and I were still sound asleep Friday morning when Jake came down to our room at 6:45 a.m., dressed in his school uniform and ready to go!
Unfortunately, school didn’t start for another 2-1/2 hours!!!
So after a nice family breakfast and a full-on photo shoot, we all piled in the car and headed to school. Jake was so excited, he was beside himself. It made it much easier for me to share in his excitement rather than get all emotional. Really, the week leading up was my emotional time – every time I’d go to talk about it, I’d get all choked up. By Friday I was just as ready and excited as Jake.
We got to his classroom, learned the morning routine and then it came time to say goodbye. We’d all done so well up until this point, but I felt my eyes start to well up as Jake gave me the hug of a lifetime. And in the bravest little voice said in my ear “I’m not gonna cry, Mom”. Oh how easily the flood gates could have opened, but I knew I needed to be brave too! So through watery eyes, I said “Me neither” and with one more quick squeeze, had to high tail it out of there before he could see that I really was!
When we picked him up at the end of the day, he was beaming from ear to ear and had had such a great day! That was Friday. Tuesday was their first full day with all the kindergartners … and the first day I realized we were in big kid school now. All of the sudden I found myself out of the comfort zone and hand-holding of pre-school. And I’m not talking about Jake here, I’m talking about MY hand being held! Gone is the daily face to face interaction with his teachers, gone are the boards that spell out everything they’ve done for the day with pictures to document it all. In their place we have daily journals that come home and have to be initialed each night. A smiley face lets me know that he had a good day. I have to rely on my personal chatterbox to fill me in on the days events … which somehow could only recall “eating lunch in the cafeteria” and “playing outside with my friends”. Tonight, day 4, I actually got a little more out of him. And tonight, I also attended the PTA Volunteer meeting – I think this will be a GREAT way to meet other parents, get involved with the school, and stay connected.
Been there, done that? Tell us about it! Whether you’re a new kindergarten parent or starting back to school is old hat for you, we want to hear your story. And share your tips on staying connected and “in the know” with your child’s daily activities.