Thursday, August 18, 2011


Well, today is IT.  The First Day of Kindergarten.

Zoe was already awake when I went in to get her, which didn't surprise me.  She bounded out of bed and announced that she was ready for breakfast, although she didn't eat much.

I had her uniform laid out, which she insisted on donning herself without help or even either of us looking at her.  She likes to surprise us, even though the very act of announcing that we are not to look at her pretty much tips us off.  Without prompting, she cleared her breakfast dishes, fed the cats, brushed her teeth and her hair, and started getting dressed.  I could tell she was struggling with her little button-down, and waited.

"Mommy?  Can you help me without looking?"

The trick to this, I've learned, is to help without looking her in the eye.  I said, "Sure" and started trying to figure what she had done.  She had unbuttoned her shirt but forgot the top button, and then was trying to button the lower half around her head.  Suffice it to say, it was a pretty funny mess.  So I start getting her straightened out and she said, "You can help without looking.  How can you do that?"  "I'm a mommy.  I can do these things."  "Oh.  Okay."

She finished getting dressed, and we went out to get her backpack ready.  It's a big pack (thank you Aunt Margaret!  It's awesome!) with, this being the first day of school, very little in it.  Since she has only a half day today, the kids were instructed to bring a healthy snack and that's it.  She chose Wheat Thins and I put a little baggie of those with some bottled water in her lunch bag, and then put that in her backpack.  With Hootie, of course.  She knows not to take him out, but he's there for moral support.  Smashed in the bottom of her pack.

Then we headed outside for pictures.

Turns out it's hard to focus when your eyes keep filling with tears.

After pictures, we were off to school.  Those of you who have been to our house know that we live three houses down and across the street from our church/Zoe's school.  It's a quick walk, and this morning was just beautiful.  She headed out in front of us so I could get some more shots, which made me cry. Then we approached the crossing guard, which made me cry.  Good grief.  M said, "Quit crying!" and I took his head off.  "I'm gonna cry, so shut up!"

We headed into school, only to learn that we were a few minutes early.  They don't open the classrooms until 7:40 on the dot, so we were ushered to the playground out back where the students lined up by grade.  She stood with about five other little girls, in their uniforms with their backpacks (all with pink straps), which made me cry.  More pictures.

Finally, the bell rang and it was time to go in.  She hung her pack in her cubby, and put her snack on her desk.  Then she sat down, looked around the classroom, and asked, "What do I do now?  Homework?"  I reassured her that Mrs. K would let everyone know exactly what to do throughout the day, and with that, Mrs. K announced that they could take out their spiral notebooks and draw while waiting for the day to start.

Within minutes the room was almost completely quiet.  Each child sitting at his or her spot (there are about five kids to a table, each with a small bin underneath that holds his or her personal school supplies) and using markers from the shared caddy at the center of the table.  We parents looked at each other, surprised.  One mother commented to Mrs. K that she was quite impressed by how quickly everything gelled.  Mrs. K laughed and said, "Yeah, that won't last!  It won't always be this easy!"

Then another bell sounded and my stomach dropped.  I smiled weakly at Mrs. K, "I suppose that's our signal to go?"  She nodded gently, "Yes.  It's time."  Deep breath.

I bent over and gave my Zozer a kiss.  "Happy first day of kindergarten, Doodlebug.  I love you."  Then I slammed on my sunglasses to hide my tears and bolted.

I made M take me to Starbucks for a coffee, and he delighted in making comments like, "Do you think she got an A yet?" and "Well, the principal hasn't called, so that's a good sign."  Funny guy.

Pictures to come.  I gotta get some work done first.  If I can stop crying.



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