Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Your First Day of Kindergarten

Dear Em,
Sigh. And just like that, I accidentally took two weeks off from posting on the blog again. The next few weeks will be a flurry of catching up with posts, because we've had so many fun moments I want to recap. The biggest news, however, is that you started kindergarten yesterday.

Leading up to yesterday, you were a ball of nerves. Half the time you would emphatically exclaim you didn't want to talk about starting kindergarten. When you finally opened up, it broke my heart. You had been going to Sweet Peas since you were 1 1/2 years old. You missed your friends. You worried you wouldn't make any new friends in your new school & you wouldn't fit in.

We talked a lot about my experience moving around from place to place as I grew up. We talked about just starting out by saying "hello." We embraced words of encouragement & support from our friends & family members. We prayed about it.

We read The Kissing Hand at bedtime the night before your first day (in true Emma fashion, you were rocking a black eye from getting hit in the face by a branch that day). I kissed the middle of the palm of your left hand so that you would have a kissing hand to go to school with the next day. We tucked you in & turned out the lights. I couldn't believe the next time I saw you, you would be an official kindergartner.

Your first day of kindergarten arrived, & I was happy to see excitement on your face that morning. I took about a million photos (you started to protest, but I told you that this was the only first day of kindergarten you would ever have & some day your kids would want to see pictures), & then you, Daddy, & I walked to the bus stop together.

The bus was late. You looked up to me as you held my hand. "Mom, I'm starting to feel more nervous." I hugged you close, gave you a kiss, & reminded you how easy it is to just say "hello."

The bus pulled up, & you let go of my hand. You followed the other kids across the street toward the bus, your backpack looked huge on your little body. You turned your head with a wave & gave us one more Emma smile. I think I held my breath as you stepped onto the bus. You all had assigned seats, & you looked a little confused about where you were supposed to go. You sat in a seat with two other kids. I got ready to wave & sign "I love you" to you through the bus window. You didn't even look my way. You were already in deep conversation with your new seat-mates. It put such a smile in my heart.

As Daddy & I walked back to our house, one of the moms remarked that no one was crying. I was quietly blinking back tears. I couldn't believe my baby girl was already in kindergarten. It was so hard to send you off on a bus for the first time to a school full of teachers we mostly don't know. This wouldn't be like your last school where we dropped you off right to your teacher in your classroom. We wouldn't be seeing your classmates or getting glimpses of your life at school each day.

At that point, it was my turn to be full of nerves. I thought about you all day & wondered what & how you were doing with the newness of everything that day. I think I checked the clock 5,000 times, & it seemed like forever before it was the end of your school day.

When it finally came time to pick you up, Daddy & I walked to the bus stop together. We wondered what your face would tell us as you got off the bus. Would you be all smiles? Would you be on the brink of tears? Your bus was late again, & the waiting & anticipation was killing me. Your bus finally pulled up, & I smiled as I watched you lug your giant backpack & step down the stairs.

Then you looked up. A huge smile was spread across your face.

I finally felt myself truly breathe as you ran to Daddy & I with open arms. "My first day of kindergarten was Ah-Maz-Ing." You were a little chatter box as we walked back home, telling Daddy & I all about the things you did & the kids & teachers you did them with. For the rest of the day I think you told us about every person you met & everything you did during your first day. You were so excited to return to school the next day & the rest of the year.

I'm so freaking proud of you, little girl. This is a big change & change isn't easy, but you are totally rocking it. You are absolutely amazing. I'm so excited about the things you will accomplish this year as a kindergartener. Thanks for letting me be the one you run to with open arms at the end of the day.

I love you so,

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