Tuesday morning I woke up prepared for a whirlwind of activity all before nine o’clock in the morning. We had three kids that needed to be in three different places. Because of a genius idea I saw on Pinterest, I had the boys clothes picked out through the week. AIB & DIB were dressed minutes after getting out of bed. DIB & G had breakfast by eight and AIB was picked up by grandpa. I drove G over to her long-term foster family’s house. By 8:15 we were down to one very excited kindergartner.
We took him outside to take some pictures with his backpack. He humored us. Then we headed over to the elementary school which was full of activity. As we waited at the door that he will enter each day with the rest of the kids in his class, we could tell the nervousness was setting in for him. He kept saying, “I just want to be with Dad.” We reassured him that he was going to have a great time. As the first bell rang, we all walked into the school (yes, we did get to go in). As we walked to his room, I felt myself tearing up. He was obviously nervous so I didn’t want to make it any worse for him and I pulled it together.
There were only nine kids coming to class that day (they stagger the first days so that the kids are not overwhelmed). They all sat down at a table and were very quiet. The first activity was writing your name (if you can) and drawing a picture of yourself on your first day of school. This is where DIB started giving us the look – the “I’m not down with this” look. While he can write his name, he really does not enjoy doing so and he does not like drawing/coloring. We’ve worked on it minimally at home and talked a lot about how you have to do what the teacher asks. We know his fine-motor skills need work. Some kids sat down and got to work. Others sort of stared at the paper (DIB included). We decided that it was time to leave and encouraged him to follow the teachers instructions. We gave him a hug & let him know that mom would be there when school was over.
Picking him up that day has to be one of my favorite parenting experiences so far. He turned the corner and saw me, ran full speed and shouted, “Mom, I missed you so much!” Thankfully, I had sunglasses on so no one could see me welling up. I asked him how the day was and he said, “It was great. But, Mom, I didn’t learn how to read.” We’ve been telling him that was one of the things he would learn in kindergarten. I guess he thought it would be more immediate. We talked about the day over Slurpees and Cheetos. On Friday, he was eager to go back to school. So far, so good.
G also was able to start kindergarten last week despite not having a birth certificate, physical or immunization form yet. The school was kind enough to give us some grace on these requirements until it all came together so she could start the same week as the rest of the kindergartners. She is really missing her family and I am hoping that school will be a good distraction from all that she is going through right now. Her teacher has been really helpful and understanding. It has been fun getting a little girl ready in the morning. She is much more into clothes and hairstyles than the boys. I hope we are making what is such a hard time in her life a bit easier.
AIB starts preschool this afternoon and he could not be more excited. It was strange to pack three backpacks last night. All the kiddos are growing up!