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