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Friday, September 3, 2010

Week one: a weary, exhausted and proud CHECK!

I woke up the morning of the second day of school and I was having this dream:

Sandi and the girls and I were holding hands, four across, skipping in our flip flops and shorts through the parking lot of Storyland, heading toward the entrance. I could see the brightly colored buildings. I could hear the tinkling of the piped in music. I was wearing a big smile on my face.

And then someone tapped me on the shoulder. When I spun around I was told: "You can't go in there. She has to go to school now."

Subtle, huh?

So here is the end of the week report:

First, we survived. Mercifully, Sandi was on call yesterday and could help with the logistics of adding Skyler to the morning mix (which was super fun), getting Maya to school again (she cried, poor girl), and dealing with my emotional angst. We also managed to clean the office and, on yet another 100 degree day, priced out a new pellet stove.

Second, Ella came home from school the first day and I told her Brady had left her a voicemail and wanted her to call him back. "The first day of school and already calls from boys," I said to Sandi. Ella's response: "I LOVE Kindergarten." (That was before two more excruciating crying episodes.)

Thirdly, I really and truly am having a ball with Maya. I find her much easier to manage when Ella isn't there and, now I notice, her behavior is also better. We are having fun and moving at whatever pace suits her. I am more relaxed and have much more fun with her when I don't feel I'm being split apart by my children. Plus, how can it not be fun when Maya spontaneously bursts into song with "The wheels on the bus go beep! beep! beep!:" that she learned at school.

Fourth, Ella's perspective 4 days in:
I asked her what the coolest part of Kindergarten was and she said, "Not wanting to go and being brave and going anyway." (I could not be more proud of this girl.)

Fifth, Ella is making new friends! (I love "friends" at this age. Ella was climbing a tree at the folk festival and saw a little girl wearing an outfit Ella coveted. They made some eye contact and Ella came to me to tell me she was now her "friend.") She told me, "Evelyn was sad today and was crying so I let her put her head on my shoulder until she felt better." (Okay, I guess I can be prouder.)

I asked her "Do you like it now?" and she said, "Yes!"
"Are you excited that you get to back and that you are in school now?" and she said, "YES!"

So there you go. What did that take from despair to triumph? Four days? Man, I've got to learn to be more patient.

We were snuggling in bed tonight and she reached up and buried her head in my neck. "I want to tuck in under your chin. It is my favorite place." What could possibly worth more than that?

She did tell me that she misses me and doesn't want me to leave when it is time to say goodnight. I told her I would be with her all day tomorrow and that whenever she needed snuggle time to just tell me and I would stop whatever I was doing and snuggle her. She looked at me doubtfully. Drop everything? I pinky swore. I mean, come on, I will take her wanting while it's still here because I get it that at some point I will begging her to spend time with me.

Maybe Kindergarten hasn't taken anything away. Maybe it will actually enrich our lives.
I think Ella is beginning to understand life a little bit better and might appreciate her time at home and her time to play more than she has previously. Do I dare hope out with entitlement and in with perspective?

And lastly, a few thank yous...

Thank you to Chris, whom I'm not sure I know but greatly appreciate the comment about how your family was in turmoil for the first week of starting school. Thank you to every other mother out there who has told me that my experience was normal. Thank you to Ange for being in the same boat- although, likely slightly more stable than yours truly- and for telling me how lucky we are to be so close to our kids. Thank you Emilie for telling me my kitchen could remain dirty for the duration it took me to get into the swing of things and for holding my hand through this. Thank you to Bree, at the gym daycare whose last child just entered Kindergarten, for telling me that, now that both of her kids are in school, she has disturbing questions about her worth now that they need her so much less. And, lastly, thank you to my mom for being Ella's cheerleader as she expresses her feelings and for checking in on our progess with such love and support.

And thank you, makers of the holiday calendar, for placing Labor Day right where it needs to be to soften the blow of back to school.

1 comment:

Christine Nichols said...

The "turmoil" comment was from me. Couldn't remember my google password at that time. Glad things are going's amazing starting school with Emily now. She loves being an older child who's there to help comfort the younger new kids.

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