Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of Pre-School

When it came time for pre-school registration last spring, I did not feel at all like Elias was ready for pre-school. He seemed so small and I was worried he couldn't communicate well enough to be on his own. But, my friend counseled me to sign him up anyway in case he seemed ready in the fall. Good thing, because in the last few weeks he has seemed so ready for something of his own. He's never really cared about what Sydney was up to and was completely content to pal around with me until the past few weeks when he caught a case of the "me too"s. He too wanted a backpack, he too wanted to go to school, he too wanted to sign up for soccer and he too wanted me to sew something special for his first day. He asked for a shirt, but I don't know how to make a little man shirt, so we went with a new hat (that he of course chose not to wear after all).

It's so strange that my baby is already hitting the pre-school mark. It seems like it was just last summer that I was coming to terms with Sydney going to pre-school. My mom told me that the letting go started really early, but I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of these firsts in such a short time. all which point to the fact that my babies are growing up.
 He told me that this is his "exkited face"
When I picked him up today, he came running to the door yelling "Mommy!" with a big smile. On our little walk home he already seemed so much older than when I'd dropped him off, since he was experiencing things without me and reporting back. As soon as we got home, he plopped down on the front steps to open his beloved backpack and unpack his treasures from the day. So, here we go on our next little adventure!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Day of School

This summer while we were watching the women’s Olympic  gymnastics, Sydney said with a furrowed little brow, “Mom, I don’t think those girls have mommies and daddies.” I guess she was envisioning this as some sad show of orphaned girls performing for audiences. I asked her why she thought they didn’t have parents and she replied, “Because they aren’t there! I don’t see them anywhere!” For Sydney’s first 5 ½ years, her reality was that Mom or Dad was always there. Yes, she went to pre-school two, then three times a week and we left her with Grandma or a babysitter from time to time, but her main reality was our presence. Last spring, she didn’t like ballet because she went into the studio alone, behind closed doors. She said she just wanted to be with her family. So, with starting kindergarten this week, even though it’s only 3 hours a day, her world has shifted to one more like those gymnasts; mommy and daddy aren’t quite as visibly present.

On the big day, she was dressed and ready to go, backpack on, by 8:30, even though we didn’t need to leave until 12:30 or so. Luckily, our good friends came over with first day of school treats for the kids and they had new school supplies, big fun cones and treats to distract them for a few hours.
We were able to walk to school together the first day, just the two of us, and the teacher was kind enough to have parents stay for that first short day. As we walked along hand-in-hand, her little grip getting tighter and tighter as we neared the building, I told her that part of the reason I make her a first day of school dress is so if she feels a little bit scared or sad, she can look down at her dress and remember how much her mommy loves her. She brought our hands to her cheek and said, “awh. Mom, you’re going to make me cry.” Of course, I barely made it through that sentence without my own voice cracking.

A few minutes later, we ran into her little buddy on the walking path beside the school and they literally ran into each other’s arms, backpacks flying behind them and I finally got a first day of school picture with her big, real smile. After that she was fine, even when the parents all went into a different room for info and she played sorting games. (I could write a whole other essay about how much I love her teacher, especially because she answered every little question that had been rolling around in my head, without me ever having to ask and she coached us all on getting through the first drop off. But I’ll save my love note to Mrs. B. for another day.)

We walked home hand in hand again, but she was so excited that as we neared home, she took off running and flying her arms ahead of me. That’s the picture I want to keep in my mind about her first day of school. Her gleefully letting go of my hand and trying to fly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Everyone says that summer goes too fast every year, but I think this may be the first summer that I didn't feel that. It felt just right, maybe since we had Sydney finish pre-school early, so summer began on May 1st in our house. It's nice to end a season feeling full, like we packed in a lot of fun, a lot of relaxing and a lot of sun.

These last two weeks of summer we were more intentional about it since it was the finale. Every day began with, "So, guys, what should we do today?" We met Heather, Micah and Levi in Moses Lake at the water park for probably my favorite day of summer (mostly because I got to be with my sis all day!); we went bike riding along the path and got hot chocolate since the mornings have already cooled so much; we got together with Willma, Connor and Victoria several days in a row since Victoria will be starting 1st grade in Moscow and will be much harder to get together with during the week; we played down at the "secret fort" and in the creek beside Reaney Park with Beth, Carli Joey, Kiran, Adey and Jyoti; we ran in the sprinklers and invited Nellie to play too; we rode bikes with Scott, Brayden & Bailey in the church parking lot a few blocks away; we ate and baked from the garden almost daily; we walked down to the Lentil Festival for the first time and I ran in the Lentil 5k and was able to walk to the starting point, meet Teal, and run; we went blackberry picking with Teal, Isaac and Caleb and came home to make jam and cobbler; we bbq'd with the Lahmers at the Moscow water park as a final sendoff to summer and swimsuits; we went to a baby shower/potluck/game night and pretended we were part of the History department at WSU for a night and it was all exactly as we'd hoped it would be!

So, farewell summer. Thank you for all the goodness, especially from our garden. We will greet you joyfully next June (or more likely around the 4th of July when the weather is consistently wonderful).