Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day of School

Today is Grace's first day of four-year-old kindergarten at Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities! Here are some pics from her first morning:

Ok, so I'd be a lying sack of shit if I claimed that I haven't been completely freaking out about today. The truth is, I didn't sleep a wink last night thinking about today and anticipating the complete array of reactions that Grace could have to this new school and all of these changes. This is what I do--I am a worrier. A non-sleeping, obsessing worrier. It runs in my family.

I went to a parent meeting last Thursday with Grace's new teacher, and the teacher invited us parents to spend as much time as we wanted to at school with our children on the first day. I saw this as both a good thing and a bad thing--good because I would be able to help Grace get familiar with her new surroundings and help to ease her into her routine, and bad because helping Grace get familiar with her new surroundings and easing her into a routine could quickly turn into hovering and smothering, and that's certainly not what I would be aiming for. I told myself that I would need to stay long enough so that Grace didn't flip out and want to leave, but not so long that I was doing her a disservice.

Grace, for her part, did very well this morning. We got all of her gear together and walked the half block over to the school, and waited patiently for her teacher on the playground. When the teacher came and lined up the children, Grace stood at the front of the line and held the teacher's sign for her. Then, we went inside and at the teacher's prompting, Grace took a seat with the rest of the class and they commenced roll call, etc. A few of the other parents who had lingered with their kids started to slowly give kisses and hugs and began to slip out of the classroom, and I noticed Grace dart a quick look at me that asked, "But you're not leaving, right?" I gave her a quick wink and decided to stay a few minutes longer, but then the teacher's assistant selected Grace to walk with her up to the office to hand in the attendance folder. Grace, emboldened with her new found sense of duty and importance, walked over to me, gave me a kiss, nodded as I told her that I was leaving, and turned to walk out of the room with the teacher's assistant. It was that easy.

I took an entire day of vacation today because I wasn't entirely sure whether or not I would be spending the whole day at school with Grace. It's now 9:39am and I don't have to pick Grace up until 2:25pm. Nap anyone?


Anonymous said...

She is so precious, I love it! Congratulations on another milestone Mama!

Carrie said...

Go Grace! She looks sooo cute and so happy to be going off to big kid school.

Today is Nutmeg's first day too, but she won't be starting until 1:30 p.m. for the first week's abbreviated schedule. Far from worrying about how she will adjust, I have been full of worry and annoyance about the many inconveniences to me: The shortened day means I have to both drop her off and pick her up during her sister's nap time, for instance. Also, the delay in start time has meant more time for an off-the-wall excited Nutmeg to get on my nerves and trash the house that just got cleaned today.

So you are very sweet and selfless to spend your worrying energy on her. :-)