Last week was Charlotte’s first day of school. We enrolled her in a K3 program at a private school where she’ll spend two mornings per week. It’s the same school Riley attended for K3 and little sis COULD NOT wait for her big day. We bought the backpack and lunch box and ….well, that’s about it. And in all honesty, the backpack and lunch box were birthday presents from grandma, so we really did nothing in preparation for her 10 weekly hours of school. Ha! Poor, poor second child.
What we did do? We talked it up! Since she’s never been in daycare and never spent much regular time away from her family, I wondered if this would be my child who clings to my leg at drop off, wetting my business casual pants with tears while I pried off her deathgrip and headed to work. In spring we ran a local 5K that offered free child care during the race and in the 27 minutes I was running, she was crying. I came back all sweaty to a little girl who thought she’d never see me again. Oy.
Talking up this monumental event worked. As did her seeing her big bro head to school the week before she did. She was so lost without having him as her partner in crime like she did all summer, so when she’d get sad, we’d just remind her that her turn was coming JUST NEXT WEEK!
Finally, the day arrived for her to start “3-year old school.”
She was clearly distraught.
Poor, poor thing.
Big bro had to jump in to comfort his sad, little sister.
Ok seriously, the only way I could describe her is proud. She wore that ginormous Elsa backpack with PURPOSE. She strutted through the parking lot like it was no thang. We posed for another picture outside the school, too.
You can just see the excitement and pride on her face. Into the classroom we went, the teachers were great at seeming genuinely excited to see her. She beamed. I said goodbye to her and hugged and kissed her twice. Waiting for a reaction. She hugged back and said “bye Mommy!” I waited for it to register with her that I was really leaving and would pick her up after lunch. Nope. She was too excited about the puzzle she was working on. I snuck out and that was it.
When I picked her up on my lunch hour, she looked older. I couldn’t believe it. She talked and talked about how much fun she had. She said she wanted to go back tomorrow. She was thrilled. She’s an official big girl.
And now I’m the one who’s proud.
I think one of the coolest things about having kids is the opportunity to re-live childhood. That’s been one of the most surprising and happiest things since becoming a parent. Seeing what your children do when you’re not around is amazing. Watching them become their own people is inspiring. I love this crazy, crazy life.
And because I’ll look back on this post in a few years, here is Riley’s first day of K3, three short years ago, when he attended the same school.
Ahhhhhh! My baby! I miss his little baby face. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the corner weeping.