That kid up there started first grade today – the first time he’ll go to school all day every day. While it’s not the first time he’s started school or something new, for some reason this feels like parenthood to me, one of those times when you realize you are grown up and you are not the same person you were five or ten years ago, though you often still feel like you haven’t aged a bit (look in the mirror, you are totally older and you’re not the only one). It feels poignant and important. I think because this summer did feel different despite my working every day and the kids still being in a normal routine of daycare – it was still a different feeling than that of the school year. I’m quite certain my kids would say it was a great summer, though we adults would say it definitely didn’t go as planned with Simon’s trip to Australia in there. We spent so much time with friends, with family and at the beach – nothing too amazing, but all the little things that add up to a bunch of fun. I looked back at my list of summer plans and have to laugh… more than half not done but I still feel like it was full and complete. I’m the most bummed we didn’t get to get away for a weekend to Chicago and most excited that Jack is potty trained (oh, I am a mother to have made that statement).
This morning was the only morning since school got out that my children slept in and needed to be woken up to get ready (but of course). I was a little worried this would mean Liam was going to be grumpy but when I said his name in my best sing-song mommy voice, he responded up sitting upright in bed and exclaiming, “It’s the first day of school!”
I offered him whatever he wanted for breakfast, served on our “You are special” plate (I have my good mommy moments) and he asked for a butter sandwich. Sigh. Glad I didn’t bother with something more involved. I did surprise him with a bowl of mandarin oranges (his current favorite, which he will order over fries in a restaurant – I’m not sure how he and Jack are related). He dressed in clothes picked out the night before and threw his new backpack over his shoulder – looking more than a little grown up.
Then we were off to school to meet his teacher since he missed her at back-to-school night while he was at my parents’ house last week. He very grudgingly allowed me to take a picture of him on the front steps and we waded past the kindergarteners who were already lining up so he could go in and find his locker and his desk (new to him this year). He looked so grown up in comparison to those newbies, most whose parents were dropping them off for their first day – the bigger kids would all be coming on the bus. For a few moments, once we got in his class, he reminded me that he was still a little kid (despite his demands that he is a big boy) and was a bit overcome with shyness at meeting his teacher and touring his classroom. He asked me to stay just a bit longer with him but once we emptied his backpack he was already chattering away to his teacher and my big kid came back, full of words and excitement for school. See this new shirt? It has Bumblebee on it. He’s a Transformer. I like Transformers. And Spiderman. I want to be Spiderman when I grow up. There are actually two Spidermans but the bad one is just in his head. And on and on… we walked away, after saying goodbye, knowing he was going to have a great day.
Can’t wait to hear how it goes, though I know he will have frustratingly few words to share with me in the car when I pick him up. But the stories will come out in time, he can never keep anything a secret, there are too many words in his head that need to break out. I pray he will make new friends (he has only five of the same kids from last years’ class with him in his new class) and listen to his teacher. He’s a likeable kid, the very best kind.
In the meantime, we still have this one to keep us occupied at home, or rather, Simon does as he will have Jack all to himself three days a week. And then in a couple more years, he’ll be off to school, too. But not yet.