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Today Alexander is encountering a major milestone in his young life: his first day of Kindergarten! He's at school right now (I wonder what he is doing right now?) and I'm at work (well, trying to work but I'm really distracted).
Alexander and I have been preparing for this for weeks ... or even years, if you count all of his preschool. Together we picked out his backpack, lunchbox, school clothes, new shoes, and school supplies. We did a practice walk to the school, even packing a lunch in his lunchbox and having a picnic near the schoolyard. Last night I gave him a trim so he'd look spiffy for his first day of school. (Did you know that Alexander has only ever had his hair cut in two places? At the Harmony Barbershop in the Magic Kingdom and by me at home.) And last night we both went to sleep early so we'd have plenty of rest.
Unfortunately, the snooze button on my alarm (read; iPhone) didn't work correctly this morning and I overslept by 30 minutes. So I was feeling more anxious than I wanted to get Alexander ready. And he seemed anxious as well, as he barely ate breakfast. But we got it together and were ready to go without any real problems. He decided to wear his favorite pirate shirt at the last minute, which didn't really surprise me ... I actually had it ready to go in case he changed his mind about what he wanted to wear.
Once we were ready, we opened our front door ... to find it raining! I scrambled to get some umbrellas quickly and out we went. We're very fortunate to live just a few doors down from the school, and we as walked down our front steps, we could see all the cars lined up to drop off kids. Wow, it really was the first day of school. We've lived here for most of Alexander's life, but we never paid much attention to the school ... until now. We held hands and proudly walked with the other parents and kids up to his school, both of us very excited. He was in great spirits and smiling, a very good sign. I've been worried about this day for a while, as he's the type who'd rather just stay at home and we've had struggles at drop-off for preschool.
As we were approaching the school, we heard the school bell (wow, that brought back memories!). We found the correct door, located his teacher's classroom (Ms. Steward), and found his new cubby. He spotted his name and grinned, but I could see a little strain around the edges. It was noisy and crowded in the room with all the kids and parents arriving, and I could sense his nervousness (heck, even I was nervous at this point). We then found his seat at one of those little round tables they use in Kindergartens -- the teacher had made a red apple nametag and I clipped it to his pirate shirt.
I took some pictures of him, and I could tell now that he was definitely feeling nervous. I reminded him that whenever he missed me today, he could just open his hand and look at the little heart I'd drawn there in red marker this morning.
At this point, his teacher announced that every child had a container of Play-Doh at their spot -- he eagerly opened his and played with it. This was a great idea on her part -- it gave him something familiar to do with his hands, and I think it put him at ease.
I stayed with him for a few minutes, pointing out where the potties were and some other notable spots around the room (i.e., teacher's desk). Then I told him I would go stand with the other parents by the door for a bit. He let me go, which surprised me a bit, but was very encouraging! I watched him for a couple of minutes and he turned back to see that I was there. Then I decided I should bite the bullet and say goodbye, that it was best for him to go forward on his own. I gave him a big hug and kiss, reminded him that I'd be back for him soon enough, and wished him a good day. I walked away and watched him from around the door for a moment, but he didn't turn back.
Then I walked back home, tears streaming down my face (I was happy and choked up). My little baby was in Kindergarten!
He'll be in school all day until 3:42. I can't wait to pick him up in three hours and find out about his day! Now, I need to get some work done.
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I still can't believe he is in Kindergarten already! Like I told Sara the other day, it seems like just yesterday Alexander and Ryan were toddling around the Studios looking at the Osborne Lights and trying to avoid all of us strange people.
I hope he has had the best day! It'll get easier (for both of you) as the days go by . . . and you'll be less distracted and able to do more work.
Other than the bad alarm clock, the rain, and the tight nerves, sounds like the day started out great! I'm sure he'll be all worn out when he gets home. And don't worry if he doesn't seem to have anything to share at first.....it will all come rolling out as he gets back into the groove of things at home. Congrats to you all on this milestone day!
Didn't we all just have the baby pool on Alexander's birthdate and weight?? Holy cow. I should talk though, my baby girl just started kindergarten too. I'm so excited for you to pick him up in a few hours and hear all about his first day!!!
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Alexander and I just got home from school. Everything seemed to go really well! He was happy and talkative, and didn't seem desperate for me to pick him up. Before I claimed him, I saw him playing with another kindergartener, and they were both laughing. Hooray! A great day!
When I asked about his day, he told me how one of his friends from preschool was in his class, though he couldn't remember her name. He told me about his lunch, what he ate and didn't eat. He also said they played a game of tag in the gym, and practiced the alphabet song. He then proceeded to sing it for me -- he did it twice, I was able to record it on my iPhone! Here it is: