Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Day

Yesterday was the big day. It started out all smiles...

We had picked out what she would wear the night before.  A new t-shirt and yoga pants.  We didn't want any clothing issues to upset the start of our day so we went for the tried, tested and true approach.  I put in two hair ponies high up, just the way she likes them,  because with so many new things happening I thought it best to keep everything as familiar as possible. Today was not the day to push for French braids, tweed jumpers and cute mary jane shoes.

Callie was so pumped up for her first day at the big kids school.  She could hardly contain herself...

But she would have to wait.  Because her class didn't start until after lunch.  She would have to spend the morning at day care while I went to work.  I thought about her all morning.  Wondering if I did everything I could to make this transition as seamless as possible.  I was nervous for her and also a little excited because Callie would now be in the same building as me for part of the day.  

When I picked her up at day care after lunch she was still smiling.  She was anxiously waiting for me with her new back pack on her back. She was ready to get this show on the road!  She chatted away to me on the short drive to school.  I pulled into the parking lot and we both got out.  And that's when things began to change.

We started the long walk from the parking lot across the playground to the doors where her class would line up when the school bell rang.  As we walked, Callie became more and more quiet.  I continued talking to her in my upbeat, positive voice, being as brave as I could for her.  Four hundred kids on a playground is loud and scary.  And for all the times I've been in this schoolyard, today was the first time I truly saw it though a five year old's eyes.  

Her eyes were wide. Her fingers were in her mouth.  There was concern in her brow.  She stopped responding to my chatter.

I held her hand as she lined up to enter the school.  The boot room was LOUD and BUSY.  Full of parents and kids and teachers directing traffic.  It was time to put on her new Twinkle Toes and begin her school career.  And here is the last photo...

because this is where things get a little blurry.  All the excitement, all the anticipation and all the nerves were just too much for her to process with reason.  There were tears and shouting.  Words like "don't leave me mom! Pleeeeeeese, don't leave me! No, no, no don't go!!"  And I tried my best to reassure her and explain to her that I will be back soon and that everything will be okay but my words were not heard.  I hugged her sobbing little body and told her I had to go.  Her teacher held her while I left the room and I barely reached the door before my own irrational tears began to hit the floor.

Now one of the perks of having Callie in the same building as me is that nearly everyone there already knows her. And I was able to get regular status updates on how she was doing without having to actually hover outside her classroom door.  As it turns out, she had settled down the moment the door shut behind me.  And the girl I picked up at the end of the day was smiling and full of stories about going to the gym and unpacking school supplies.

As for today, day number two, sister rocked this school thing.  She walked to school all by herself... well sort of.  She walked with one of her best buds, one grade eighter, one dad secretly sitting in a truck, and one mom watching from the school on the receiving end. Phew.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I was reading, I was getting teared up too. Such a huge day in a big girls life, she will never forget it.

Kathy Galbraith