Officially a kindergartner

Thursday, August 22, 2013

HJ's 1st day of school
So HJ's first day of kindergarten has finally arrived and passed with surprisingly little drama. And I'm a little embarrassed to admit that the only tears on her first day were mine.

I did my best to play it cool, of course. The last thing I wanted was for her to wonder why Mommy was crying when I had been talking up kindergarten for the past 6 months! So I tried hard not to think about how strangely significant this moment felt and focused on getting HJ to school on time, pretending like it was just any other day.

We had a couple moments of, "I don't want to go to school, Mommy!" but they were quickly eclipsed by her desire to use her new purple polka-dot backpack with the matching pencil case. Of course, she ended up choosing a backpack more proportioned for a third-grader than my little 3 foot 4.5 inch, 35 lb kindergartner. But what can I say? The girl loves school supplies. I literally had to hide the pencils and glue sticks from her before the first day so that she wouldn't use them all up at home.

Another incentive for her? Her new BFF/future husband Mason, who sits right next to her, and her new girlfriend Mahi, who she met in summer school this year. Though I had worried endlessly about her transitioning to a new class with new kids and a new teacher, so far (and yes I know it's only been two days!) HJ seems to be adjusting amazingly well.  The hardest part has been figuring out what she'll actually eat for lunch. Yes, the drama has been reduced to, "Should she buy milk from the cafeteria or will the line take too long?" and "Will chicken nuggets still be warm enough for her to eat after 3 hours?"

It's only when I stop to think about what it all really means, when my mom says things to me like, "I can't believe you have a daughter in kindergarten!" or my friend asks me if I'm enjoying the "empty nest," that I start to get that choked-up feeling I had when I watched her walk happily through the front door without looking back once.

Lila pretending to go to kindergarten
Lila is definitely going through her own adjustment to having her big sister gone all day, but it's a good thing I still have her with me at home or I would be a complete wreck! And while I'm sure she's loving the opportunity to have Mommy all to herself, my guess is Lila seriously thinks she is going to kindergarten any day now. According to Lila, she is already four years old, and it is absolutely necessary for her to pack her own lunch bag, snack, and backpack in the morning.  Little does she know how excited Mommy gets when she conks out for a two-hour nap at 11 mind literally starts racing thinking about how much I can get done without any interruption!

The funniest thing is that so far Sol and I are pretty clueless as to what HJ has been doing all day at school. We have a general schedule outlining the day's activities, but the mysteries remain... How much of her lunch did she really eat and what did she throw out? Did she really like gym class for once? And did she really get a sticker for listening well, or is she stretching the truth a little when she says that only the girls got the stickers and not the boys?

I'm sure in a couple weeks we'll all have a better idea about what life with full-day kindergarten really means, but for now, I'm just happy that there haven't been any tantrums, tears, or meltdowns... yet... I'm just really hoping this drama-free thing lasts for a little while longer.


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