Yesterday, my first baby boy had his first day of first grade.
The weight of it all didn't hit me until THIS moment:
First grade is MUCH different than kindergarten. Its the real deal! And... it tricks you, because you think you already did the real deal when you kissed him goodbye last year!
Kindergarten was basically fancy (and FREE!) pre-school. At least that was our experience. Dawson still learned a bunch, but because his sweet angel of a teacher had SUCH a gift, and had SO much experience... there were no surprises, unless they involved personal notes and ribbons and maybe a runaway gingerbread man or two.
I was dancing at the thought of having Dawson back in school. Hes been much harder to entertain this long summer, we were all going stir crazy. But then... all of a sudden, there we were, dropping him off. Just like that!, he was sitting in his very own desk, the bell was ringing!, and we had to just say goodbye, and pick him up a whopping SEVEN HOURS later. Thats never happened in Dawson's world! And it hasn't happened in mine for... well, you can do the math. Its first grade level. ;)
The desks were positioned in clusters, and there are a couple kids we know and love that he is with or next to. A good half of the class he knows from last year, and there are four kids from our street alone that are in the same room. That poor teacher, wait til she finds out theres a small herd of kids that can bicker like siblings right under her nose.
This is his friend Sarah... they are buddies. Unless they aren't. :)
Another highlight of the morning was that Tyson was there to enjoy it all. With nowhere to be until 2pm. In fact, at least until January, he will be taking the kids every single day, and hopefully volunteering in the classroom as well. What a breath of fresh air its been for each member of our family to have him around more.
Ah, the little moments.
When I picked him up and he climbed in the sweltering hot car (thermometer read 112! YOWZA!), the first words out of his mouth were... "Ohhhh, boy, Mom, there is a TON of homework... but its ALL FOR YOU!!!"
Har, har, har. What a funny little man.
I expected him to be a little vague so I made sure to ask direct questions, which he politely answered. He talked about the big playground, and the picnic they had on the grass. It sounded like a good day, but I knew I would get the real story at bedtime.
When we were finally snuggled in, and the exhaustion had gripped him, the flood gates opened (as somewhat expected).
He explained to me that all day he felt funny and lonely (LONELY! He actually said lonely!, his mother's worst fear!), and he was afraid of nobody wanting to play with him or be his friend at recess. He said how he wanted so badly to tell the teacher how he was feeling, but she didn't pay attention to him when he raised his hand, and it made him feel so sad. He said he didn't know if he could do first grade, because there would be homework, and it might be too hard for him...
Are you crying into your keyboard yet?
It was everything I had to not bawl my eyes out right there with him.
I did my best to gently explain that every kid... and teacher, for that matter!, feels scared or nervous about making friends the first couple days.
I said how the teacher doesn't know most of the kids, and has to learn all 29 names! That's a lot of homework!
I reminded him of what we talked about just last Sunday at church, how we are to share the love of Christ with everyone, and we don't ever have to be afraid because God is always with us.
I told him that tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day, and a new chance to make a friend.
And, of course, I reminded him that even on his worst day at school... his Mom and Dad and Anabelle Lee would be waiting patiently to hear all about it, and we would love him no matter what.
Overall, it was a day of so many firsts... and something tells me we've got quite an exciting year ahead.
But with the kids I have... 'exciting' will NOT be a first.