Though school started (quite chaotically) for Madison and I last week, Maddox had a few extra days to anxiously await his school debut. Today his wait was over.
I was so happy that my principal arranged for someone to cover my classroom so I could take him to his first day of "real school". On our way, he told me that he was going to get good grades and not get sent to the Principal's office, I couldn't help but smile.
I could tell he was nervous, he was so quiet, his smile was held back, hands shoved in his pockets. We parked, and walked around the building (the way he would when grandma drops him off), found his classroom, and once I agreed to wait at the school until he made it into class he headed off to play on playground equipment with the mass of other children. He kept looking back over his shoulder to see if I was still waiting, giving me the thumbs up sign. Just as he reached the graveled play area he turned around and bolted back to me.
"Mom, I am just not ready to play yet, I need to give you another hug and kiss." So there we stood till the bell rang, holding hands and discussing his hopes (making friends) and fears (bullys). At the sound of the bell he grabbed his backpack and lined up outside his classroom door with the other kids. He kept waving me over to make sure I was coming in and would give him one more hug and kiss inside.
We made our way into the classroom, hunting for his name tag on the desks. He found it with out any trouble, sat down and grabbed a book from the center of the table to start reading, just like he knew what he was doing.
He had time for one more hug and mom's message of "you will be great," before he was ready to go it alone. As I walked out the door, with one last glance over my shoulder, I saw my baby sitting like such a big boy, completely ready for kindergarten.
My eyes remained dry, I remained strong... until I drove away alone.
I could hardly work today thinking of him at school, wondering if he was enjoying it, if he got on the right bus, if he had made friends.
As soon as I picked him up, I just had to know "How was your first day of school?" In the seconds, that lapsed like years, before his reply I held my breath. How he answered could easily set the tone for the next 12 years of school.
..."It was great mom!"