Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to School

Grace has been waiting on her first day of Pre-K since preschool ended last May.  She has talked about who her teacher might be, what her classroom might look like, what she was going to wear on her first day (and second day, and third day...), and couldn't wait for a new back pack and lunch box.  Pre-K is different she said, because it is "big school".  Pre-K is all day, 5 days a week.  At Pre-K, you eat lunch, take naps, and are in the same building as big kids.

We shopped online for a new backpack and lunchbox, but she didn't see just the right one.  Until we went to the Pottery Barn Outlet.  She spotted what was apparently the perfect set through the store window, ran in, grabbed it, and wouldn't let go.

We went to orientation and learned the ins and outs.  I was the huge, hormonal crier in the group.  I blame the tears on being 8 months pregnant.  I was thrilled to learn that Grace's teacher would be Ms. Carol, our pastor's wife.  We visited her and the super cute frog-themed classroom, shopped for the wish list items, laid out Grace's first day of school outfit, and packed her first lunch.  Grace went to bed the night before the first day with a twinkle in her eye.

Grace's First Day of School Outfit
Ok, ok, so this isn't actually Grace on her first day.  I staged this one the next time she wore the outfit.  Read the next paragraph and you'll understand why.

And that, Friends, is where the excitement ends.  Grace woke up the first day of school with a tummy ache.  She dragged her feet, she whimpered, she even threw up!  When she hugged me around the neck and told me she never wanted to go to school, my heart was nearly torn from my chest.  But, the strong daddy reassured me it was just a case of the nerves.

I had been okay - no more hormonal tears - until we walked in and the administrators greeted Grace.  Then, I saw all the children and teachers, and flashes of Grace as a baby entered my mind.  How in the world have we gone from that bright eyed, round faced baby to a girl who is old enough to be greeted by a principal?  All in a blink.  Suddenly, I felt that I was the one who needed her to hold my hand, not the other way around.  Hand in hand, needing one another, we walked to her classroom.

Once we, I mean she, got settled at her table, she chose a crayon - fuchsia thank you very much - and a smile began to form on her lips.

Apparently all it took was getting settled.  She had a fantastic first day of Pre-k, and couldn't wait to share details of how big kids walk in the hall (hips and lips), the playground, and a book that Ms. Carol read.

You learned a very important lesson that first day of Pre-k.  One more important that how to sit on the rug or opening your juice box.  One more lasting than remembering to write your name at the top of your paper.  You learned to face your fears head on.  My little big girl, I will never forget the sight of tears welling up in your eyes as you told me you just wanted to stay home with me.  I will also never forget the way you peered at your new friends, and settled in at your spot.  Nor will I forget the smile on your face that afternoon as you told me all about your first day.  New experiences are scary, but your bravery that first day helped you to realize that new experiences are also fun.  I am so proud of you, my little school girl.



  1. Hello tears...such a sweet post, and I can totally relate.

  2. This takes me back several Taylor is in the 8th grade. However, as a Mom you never forget those first days of the new beginnings in school. The shyness they portray, but come out of their shells after a bit. It is a scary time as a child..but, it's also a wonderful thing to know that your child is making new friends...and progressing as a little person. Just enjoy every day...your oldest will be an 8th grader before you know it! Thanks for the post!

  3. Thanks, Mel. Hope Jack has enjoyed school!

  4. Sherri - I don't even want to think about 8th grade! I hope Taylor really enjoys it and cheerleading. :)