Thursday, August 30, 2007

Emma's First Day of Kindergarten

Well, the day finally came. I've been looking forward to it with a mix of longing and trepidation. It's not as though she hasn't been in preschool these last too years, but for some reason, sending her to kindergarten has been one of the major stresses in my life.


It all started several months ago, before her 5th birthday. I woke up to realize that my 7lb 10oz baby was now a lanky 42 pounder, or the roughly the size of 2 very large Thanksgiving turkeys. It occurred to me that she was going to be going out into the world to be influenced by it, for better or for worse. Begin stress and worry here- X.  After considering our options, including home schooling (if you can believe that of me!), we settled on our parish school.

You might think that finding peace in that area would alleviate any doubts and allow me to send her off with a hop and a skip and a jump. You'd be wrong. Today, as we pulled into the school parking lot, avoiding the "Cone Zone", (drop off procedures always remind me of Mr. Mom, "South to drop off Moron!") and parked the car, I made sure to stuff some extra Kleenex into my pocket. Emma was all smiles as she sat in Mrs. Schmidt's line of kindergärtners. I was all smiles with quivering lip and thick voice as I said, "I love you. Have a good time." My friend Julie, mother of a 2nd grader, saw me getting weepy and teared up herself. (It's a good friend who cries< along with you). Mrs. Donovan, the principal, comforted me by saying how she cried at the first day of kindergarten, high school and college for all her kids. Kevin finally alerted me to the fact that mothers are not allowed in kindergarten, and thus dragged me away.

So, how was Emma's first day of school for Emma? Well, we woke her up at 6:45. I said, "Good morning, Emma. Time to wake up." She responds in a groggy, slightly outraged voice, "Why?!" She got up and proceeded to put on her entire uniform: blouse with buttons, jumper with button and zipper, headband, socks and shoes all by herself while I sat there encouraging her. Halfway through the procedure, she said, "Kindergarten is too early. It's still night outside." (What can I say, she's her mother's daughter) She was very excited to go to school, impatient in fact. She quickly got tired of the photo shoot and so there was nothing left to do but deposit her in her place in line.

What did she do at school? Getting Emma to tell me about her day is like pulling teeth. I learned from her that she met "Mr M" a letter person who has a m-m-m-munching m-m-m-mouth and eats m-m-m-milkshakes and m-m-m-marshmallows. Other than that? Who knows! At curriculum night tonight we found out she also had music and snack and made a turtle for display in the hallway. She forgot to give the turtle to the assistant, so it wasn't up for display. I had to interview her teacher to make sure it was misplaced and not due to misbehavior. Good news.

So, tomorrow, Kevin will begin his new routine of driving Emma to school before work and Andy, Renee and I can stay at home in our jammies. Yes, our little girl is growing up. I want her to grow up, but I want her to stay my little baby. A cruel twist of irony, if you ask me.