September 2, 2014 – Drew’s first day of school! That’s right, we have a kindergartener 🙂 I have waited until now to post so I could fully capture my thoughts, his reaction to the change and how it has shown me that we must be doing something right.
First Day: I had no idea what to expect. I knew there would be crying moms, happy moms, crying kids and kids who just wanted to run right in to class and get started. I knew he was excited (he has been since he was 2 1/2) but could tell there were nerves. I knew my emotions probably were dependent on his. He was a rockstar. We drove him to school and waited for the bell so he could line up at the door. It was like he had been there forever and knew exactly what to do. There was no sadness, just pure excitement. There was no sadness for me – I was so excited with how excited he was to be there. We have had 7/9 days just like this! Yesterday and today were tough – but I think it may have to do with being a little over tired 🙂
Since his first day we have seen growth and change and an eagerness to learn. He comes home having learned something new: a song, a process, how to draw/write, rhyming words and even just a new found love for everything in his lunch bag. He wants to show us what he did, tell us how his day was and all about how gym is awesome. His teacher called to check in and let us know that he is an amazing kid (like we didn’t know) and that he is adapting so well to this huge change in his life/schedule. She is amazed that he just turned 4 in April and says he is great at sharing, listening, waiting his turn and taking care of his things. Our first reaction: seriously, does she have the right Andrew? But after thinking about it, she’s right – he is such an awesome kid and even though he can be crazy and destructive, he’s 4.
Listen, I am not judging moms who are sad to see their babies go to school. There of course was a sense of “sad” going through me to see this child, who not so long ago was a helpless tiny infant, walk through these big doors into the unchartered waters of school. But here’s where I need to remind you mama’s (and dads!): we have done good. I think that deep down, ultimately they are tears of pride. Whether your kid runs to line up every morning or has some tears and hesitation, we have spent the last 4 years ultimately preparing them for this and they are ready. They run to the line up because they know you will be there to pick them up after a fun-filled day at school. They have tears because they just want to hang out with you a little longer. Our job as parents is to prepare our kids for the rest of their lives. Starting school is such an important milestone – for parents and kids alike. We have made this milestone by forming our child into one that loves to learn, respects their peers and teachers, and is ready to thrive outside the walls of our home. This Kindergarten milestone is truly one where we can measure our work as parents (forget the growth charts, development questions, etc) It’s not about how many letters they can write, if they can read, that they know all of the colours or that they can count past 20. It’s that they understand that school is safe, they can trust their teachers, and that we wouldn’t send them there if wew didn’t believe that it was the best place for them to learn and grow as little humans. They will learn to open their yogurt by themselves, ask to go to the washroom before they NEED to go, choose their friends, ask someone for help, not to interrupt others and to stand up for themselves. They will be great, because we have instilled it into them that they are.
I hope all of you parents take some time to pat yourself on the back. When I got the call from school the other day, my mind immediately went to “what happened?” and “what’s wrong?” only to find out the teacher was simply calling to tell me that Rob & I have done something right and Drew is a reflection of that. That’s pretty cool.
I am already looking forward to picking him up this afternoon just to hear about his day 🙂
A friend on Facebook posted a link to this poem I think a lot of us first-time school moms can relate to.
I know you’re rather busy
First day back, there’s just no time
A whole new class of little ones …
And this one here is mine
I’m sure you have things covered
And have done this lots before
But my boy is very little
He hasn’t long turned four
In his uniform this morning
He looked so tall and steady
But now beside your great big school
I’m not quite sure he’s ready
Do you help them eat their lunch?
Are you quick to soothe their fears?
And if he falls and hurts his knee
Will someone dry his tears?
And what if no-one plays with him?
What if someone’s mean?
What if two kids have a fight
And he’s caught in between?
You’re right, I have to leave now
It’s time for him to go
I’m sure he’ll learn so much from you
Things that I don’t know
Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly
That he’s fine now without me
I know he has to go to school
It’s just so fast, you see
It seems like just a blink ago
I first held him in my arms
It’s been my job to love, to teach
To keep him safe from harm
So, when I wave goodbye in a moment
And he turns to walk inside
Forgive me if I crumple
Into tears of loss and pride
I know as I give him one more kiss
And watch him walk away,
That he’ll never again be wholly mine
As he was before today.
I understand that you are scared
to wave your child goodbye
and leave him in a teacher’s hands
don’t worry if you cry!
I’m used to weeping parents
It’s hard to leave I know.
But it’s time to share him (just a bit)
To help him learn and grow.
Let me reassure you
That I’ll give your child my best
I’ll wipe his tears, soothe his fears
And change his dirty vest!
If your darling child is full of cold
I’ll blow their nose all day
Just like you, I’ll care for them
In a special way.
I’ll treat him like I would my own
I’ll catch him from a fall and
If there is ANY problem
I’ll be sure to tell you all.
It’s true he’ll grow to love us
They’ll talk of school a lot
It doesn’t mean they hate you
And that you should lose the plot!
I’ll tell you a secret..
That when your child is here
They talk to me as much of you
Of this please have no fear.
You’ll always be their mother
Whilst teachers come and go
To them you are their number one
This I truly know.
Soon you’ll see some changes
In your little girl or boy
They’ll become more independent
And to see this, it’s a joy!
I’ll teach them all I have to give
To share, climb and to write
But to you they safely will return
To tuck them in at night.
With love from a teacher…