Em’s First Day in 1,000 words or less

Okay, maybe we need a few more words than that. We’ll see.

Overall = fantastic first day.

She was up before dawn, before MY alarm even. So I told her to take over my spot while I went for a run and I’d wake her up when I got back. (No Denise for 2 weeks is killing my very necessary “me” time, but that is another story for another time.)

When I got back, (Wow, it is actually so much better to run at sunrise! Again, a story for another day.) she had in fact curled up and slept another hour. So although she doesn’t quite look awake in this shot –

Just waking up a kidnergartener

– she had a nice 12+ hours of sleep to start her day.

She chose her outfit, definitely not my first choice for a “first day of school” dress, but it was a minor concession.


I did have to put my foot down on the shoe choice, (ha ha, get it?) though. She begged me for this pair and I had to pry them off of her feet, (Shoe shopping with Em and Addie is exhausting…again, another day, another story.) and talk up the “very practical cool” pair that she is sporting here. Mommy won this round.

All ready. Is it time? Is it time?

Finally the cursed clock said it was time to head over to school. Another five minutes and I think she would have spontaneously combusted.

The long walk to school

Note: Mommy is keeping her crap together at this point. Barely, but there are no tears even though she is one hip-looking five, (going on fifteen) -year old. Walking all casually to school like it is “no big thing.”

So we find her cubby, sign-in and do a little scavenger hunt so that we can check out all the amenities of her new classroom.

Signing in

And then before Mrs. S. sits everyone down to do a little storytime, they have a little time to do whatever they wish. What does my girl do? Head straight for the art station.

Headed straight for the art table

Yes, I’m sure there was much beaming going on from behind my camera. That IS my girl! Still, to this point, all is good. Mommy is doing great and Emma is doing great, just a confident little “pro.”

So this story that the teacher reads is about Franklin (the turtle) on his first day of school and afterward Mrs. S. tells the kids that they get to have a little recess while she talks to the adults. And she says,

“Instead of giving our Mommies and Daddies hugs when we get home like Franklin, we are going to give them 2 big hugs and 2 big kisses before they leave. And you know sometimes the Mommies and Daddies cry when they leave, so we need to tell them “NO CRYING!”

And Emma, who is sitting up (in the front row, of course!) on the rug, turns around and gave me the sweetest little smile and knowing look almost as if to say, “I know you are going to cry, Mom – but it is okay!”

There we go. I did have a few little tears slip out. But I don’t think anyone even really noticed, definitely Em didn’t. So, we are still good.

We did the parent bit and then went out to say goodbye, and although I did manage to keep it together, when we walked outside Em was kind of just standing in the middle of the playground by herself. She just looked a little lost, a little unsure of herself, and so very much not like she usually looks when she is surrounded by kids.

Maybe it didn’t completely break, but I felt a serious cracking of my heart. That is the hardest thing to see, your child kind of just on the outside trying to figure out how to get in.

I wanted to run up to every kid on that playground and scream, “Can’t you see how great she is? She is the sweetest, most loyal and best friend you will ever find! Go! Play with her! Pleeease!”

Of course I did none of this, I put on a brave happy face as she ran up to me and said, “I want to go in now, Mama.”

She kind of just clung to me a little bit and then we said our goodbyes and the kids did go back inside.

J., Ad. and I went home. J. took off for work. And I ended up obsessing and crying over Em’s “lost” look for a few moments. (Thanks for the very timely phone call and “shoulder” Kimmer!)

Later on, Ad and I were running errands, and we peeked in the playground and I finally spotted Em sitting at the table with three or four girls, laughing and appeared to be eating something with her new friends. (Later it was confirmed that Avery shared her snack with her and I was informed “Mom, I think you need to pack me a snack from now on so I can share my snack!”)

So all my fretting was for naught. I know it is all part of the “letting go” – letting her fly. But I’m still learning how to do that, and I think it will take some practice.

Em was practically bursting while waiting in line to be released when we went to pick her up. I have never seen smiles that big on her face and her assessment of her first day went something like this –


It was a very successful day all around, I think.


19 Responses to “Em’s First Day in 1,000 words or less”

  1. 1 nana51 September 4, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Em was dressed so cute for her first day of school. It brings back memories of when I had to send you off. It was hard and I understand where you are coming from… But it sounds like you handled it very well.
    Love to all
    Mom & Nana

  2. 2 Becky September 4, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Ohhhh! She did such a great job being a big girl. And you did too!! I absolutely love Em’s outfit. The shots are priceless, as always. I hope her week continues to be filled with lots of fun.

  3. 3 MelodyA. September 5, 2008 at 3:19 am

    I think she looks like the epitome of a perfect school girl in that sweet outfit and bag. I think you reacted just like any other mom out there. But you’ve led her well and she’ll make herself proud.

  4. 4 Elisa September 5, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Oh how sweet and touching! The joy and pain that come to parents just split seconds apart – sometimes even at the same time! Many more wonderful firsts to come and I am sure you (and she) will continue to handle them with equal grace and success!

    GO EMMA!!!!

  5. 5 carey September 5, 2008 at 4:05 am

    oh how adorable she looks!!!! 🙂

    i’m so glad she had a great day. she just needed a chance to acclimate herself to her surroundings and then she fit right in. here’s to many more wonderful days at school!!

  6. 6 Vicky September 5, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Care, she is the spitting image of you in that first picture. I had to do a double take.

    I don’t want to think about Kindergarten. I have 5 years before I have to do it and I don’t want to.

  7. 7 killlashandra September 5, 2008 at 5:42 am

    I like her choice of dress for the first day of school. You can tell she wanted to look nice and felt it was important to look nice too. What a sweetheart. 🙂 I’m glad it was fantastic. It’s so exciting when kids still want to got to school.

  8. 8 MommyBrain September 5, 2008 at 6:48 am

    She looked adorable (and so grown up!) for her first day. The teacher sounds great (the whole mommy and daddy might cry thing was perfect) and it’s so cute that she’s making friends.

    Thankfully, we have 3 years to go before this particular milestone.

  9. 9 Martha September 5, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Carrie I must admit, you made me cry while reading this. I you brought back memories of sending my youngest off to kindergarten last year, it’s so hard. I love the picture of her and Jamie walking. You also made me laugh, I had to talk my daughter into those same exact (practical) shoes.

  10. 10 papastan September 5, 2008 at 9:53 am

    At first I simply thought how pretty Em looked in the first picture, then I read Vicky’s comments, and looked again. For the first time I saw how VERY much she looks like you. Some of the other pics, again, not so much, but that one for sure.

    Papa had a few tears while reading too. . . Probably not so much over Em getting bigger, like you, but instead over “his” girl having to experience something painful.

    No matter how old our kids get, or how much they grow, they’re always our kids, and we never want them to be hurt, or to not be able to make things good for them.

    “Kids success can be predetermined by the types of friends they attract. She immediately found the right group of kids.” Quote from one of your teachers when we moved you to a new H.S.

    Love the pics, love the story, and love to all of you.

    Dad (Papa)

  11. 11 Maggie September 5, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    What a great first day for her! And for you — and I can’t wait to hear what Ad’s first day of preschool is like!

  12. 12 Kate W. September 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Ok, seriously- my husband is laughing at me since I am crying just reading this post! AND THEN, I read your parents comments and am crying harder!

    I know how your heart felt today- it is so hard to let them fly.I am confident, sweet Emma will have NO problems with Kindergarten!

  13. 13 Maya September 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Look at her!!! Geez…have me choked up now! She looks so cute with her all done up and all dressed to the T!

  14. 14 Erinne September 5, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Just the prettiest lil kindergarten girl I have ever seen! Good for both of you – it’s harder on us as you now know!! Hugs for you… and it’s ok – I bawled the whole day before Grade 1 – then on the day of – of course not in front of him – lol…

    PS – the tie – – – was his choice – ha – he begged me to wear it – role reversal… LOL!

  15. 15 kim September 6, 2008 at 6:54 am

    A little late, but
    Way to go, Em!!!! We are so very very proud of you. You looked absolutely beautiful on your first day of school.

  16. 16 Colleen September 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Yeah Emma!!!!
    And yeah Carrie!!!!
    I personally would have thought something was wrong with you if you didn’t shed a few tears. I already was a bawling mess the day I left Zoe in her toddler class for the first time… I only can imagine what I’ll be like in 2 years when it’s time for Kindergarten.

  17. 17 Christina September 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Wow, what a day. So much to say, I don’t even know where to start. So I’ll just say kudos to both of you for an awesome first day. I knew she’d rock it!

    She is the perfect little schoolgirl in that dress! So very grown up (sorry!).

    P.S. I always love seeing your dad’s comments. You’ve got such an awesome family!

  18. 18 Stacy September 8, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Okay, I got tears in my eyes from the bit about her looking alone on the playground. *sigh* So glad it had a happy ending! What a big girl and she looks like such a styling little-big girl there. 🙂

  19. 19 Matthew September 10, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Wow…she looks so grown up!

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