Today was Bean’s first day of kindergarten!!!!!
He was so stinking excited! We all were, really. There have only been two times in the kindergarten preparation that made a little teary. The first was the night we went shopping for Bean’s school supplies. When he put that backpack on and started walking around, I was a blubbering mess. He just looked so big! And then this morning I was absolutely fine laying out his school clothes, getting him breakfast, packing his backpack. But there was just something about packing him a lunch that made me get all misty. I put a little note on his napkin, like my mom used to do for me, and I don’t know what happened. I was suddenly wiping tears while I smeared peanut butter on a PB&J.
But I got it under control before anyone saw me, and by the time we ran out the door, I was as excited as Bean was. Gracie was pretty excited also. She kept thinking she was going to kindergarten, too. We got tired of explaining it to her a few weeks ago, so we’ve just been saying, “Yes, you are going to kindergarten, too, sweetheart” because we couldn’t bear her disappointment every time we told her she wasn’t going.
This morning when we walked her into her three-year-old preK class, she stopped for a minute and said very seriously, “Wait. This isn’t kindergarten…” but she was so excited to see her new teacher (she was one of Bean’s favorites and has babysat for us before, too) that she immediately ran off without so much as a glance back to us. Sassy pants.
After dropping Gracie off, we headed over to the elementary school to drop Bean off. We got there and it was a little chaotic, as the first day of school tends to be. Bean’s teacher had a line outside her door where the students were lining up to come inside. She was taking them in one at a time so that she made each one of them feel at home. (I loved that, by the way) Bean stood outside the door and waited like such a big dude in line. Chris and I kept remembering little things to tell him and we would randomly call out over the crowd, “DON’T FORGET TO USE THE POTTY!” or “DON’T THROW AWAY THE TUPPERWARE IN YOUR LUNCHBOX!” and “COUGH INTO YOUR ELBOW, NOT YOUR HANDS!” but he would just look at us and smile this pitying smile that said, “You two are pathetic, but I love you anyway.”
When it was his turn to go into the classroom, the group of parents and students at the door was so big that Chris and I couldn’t even get up to him before he slipped right into the classroom. None of the other parents were inside the classroom, so I didn’t want to be THAT MOM, but we definitely waited until his backpack was put away and his lunchbox was put away and he was sitting in his little seat. Then he turned around and gave us this cheesy little grin and flashed a thumbs up. And that was it. He was a kindergartener.
I did pretty good. But, let me tell you who had a tough morning… Mr. Brown. When Chris is nervous about something, he asks 10,000 questions about it, and this morning he was in rare form. He must have texted me three times and sent me a dozen emails this morning.
“You think Bean’s okay? Yeah, I’m sure he’s great. He’s great, right? Did you remember to arrange his after care pick up? Can you call just to check one more time that his name is on the pick up list? You don’t think he’s nervous, do you? He’s not nervous. Is he nervous?”
That sweet man. If Bean’s teacher would let him, Chris would sit right beside Bean all day long. He loves his babies.
When I picked Bean up from after care today (he’s doing extended day at the daycare where he and Gracie have always gone), I asked him how his day was and he shouted, “AWESOME, MOM!” and when I asked Gracie how her day was, she shouted, “I WUBBED IT!”
I hate seeing my kids grow up. Really. It’s one of the most un-fun parts of parenting. But every now and then, you look up and you see how big your kids are and instead of it seeming like a panic that life is going by so fast, it is pure joy and pride that fills your heart. Today was one of those times. I love raising babies, but I am pretty darn excited about raising big kids, too.