I can't believe that we've already entered the fourth week of the 2014-2015 school year. And folks, it's shaping up to be an amazing one.
You see, my little boy, my first-born, about whom I've bloggd on occasion (ahem)... He's officially a Kindergartener this year.
Not in daycare.
Not Pre-K nor a preschooler.
But a full-blown kid. A big boy. A Kindergartener.
I have been meaning to write this post ever since that first day or week, while all the feelings were fresh and new. But here we are at week 4... And I want to capture these moments now before we fully enter the status quo of our new reality and routine.
Don't get me wrong... It's NICE being in the status quo of the new normal... But I think there's value in capturing some of the raw, as well.
Leading up to The First Day (fully deserving of the capital letters), Park was cautiously optimistic. Excited with a bit of trepidation. I can so relate to that feeling. It's sort of how I'm wired, too, as an "extroverted introvert"... I like to know what I'm walking into to the extent possible.
When people would ask him if he was ready or excited for Kindergarten, he would answer, "Yes. Sort of..."
It was so hard to tell him that there was no way for him to really know what to expect, and that he just had to trust me and walk forward confidently while I promised it would be all right.
Hmm, some life lessons there for all of us, I think...
Thankfully, we prepped him as much as we could, and the school and his teacher did a wonderful job, too, in offering opportunities to see the building, his classroom, meet friends, etc. So that helped a ton. For Park AND his parents!
Anthony and I brought him that first day and walked him to his classroom, and none of us shed any tears! (A fact I'm proud of and in which I was none too confident would be the case, at least for myself...) And then, after all that build-up, the drop-off is over and they're no longer in your care or protective bubble. And you just sort of walk away and pray and wave and smile and pray some more [and maybe cry a little] and then you go on with your day...
It's sort of a surreal experience.
That night I picked him up and couldn't wait to give him a big hug and hear all about his school day + "Kid Connection" after-school care experience. During the course of that conversation, here are some of the awesome things he said that I managed to record for posterity:
*It was really fun! Can I go back tomorrow?
*Lunch was so good. There were sticks with cheese in them that I could dip in sauce, and I ate all my green beans and applesauce.
*I sat by one other kid at lunch, but we didn't really talk to each other because we were eating.
*I didn't cry at all, but I almost cried when I was supposed to line up and I didn't know what to do. But then the teacher told us and I didn't cry.
*I made some new friends, but I can't remember their names except Hunter and Luke.
*I sit by my locker buddy and her name is Marina.
*Mom, the rules for the bathroom are that we have to ask before we can use it.
*(teary) Are not going to have any more family days? Because now it's "all day/every day" kindergarten? (Note: "Family days" are what we call weekends or holidays when we don't go to work and everyone gets to stay home... So with all the talk in Minnesota this year about it being the first year for free "all day every day" kindergarten, he got worried that he would never get to be home for any more family days... :))
In summary, it's all going well, and I couldn't be more proud of my boy. He loves his teacher, and he's made several new friends. He even rides the bus to school most days now, so little and sweet and brave crossing the street to get on and then off he goes!
We've navigated through some bumps, like the boy on the bus who apparently talks to him too much, or the boy in his class who seems to be kind of a trouble-maker... And we try to teach Park to be kind always, be a leader, and to pray for them and his friends alike.
I can't wait to see what the rest of this school year will bring for Park Jacob and to watch him rise to the occasion.