Rylee is officially a Kindergartner!! (We have a special bear certificate from her teacher that proves it!) It was a big day for
me her, and it went well!
Getting ready to head to school:
"Here Mom... I will not only smile for you, but I will get down here and pose beside my backpack, like this!"
"Now I will hold my backpack up really high for you, so you can be sure to get it in the picture."
I was glad to have scheduled in plenty of time for pictures before heading off to school -- we got our typical "With Dad" and "With Mom" pictures...
... and my attempt at a "Brother/Sister" picture resulted in this.
It isn't the "put your arms around each other, look at the camera and smile" photo.
At school, Rylee spent a little time outside on the "Kindergarten Playground," the playground that we visited many times this summer so she would be familiar with it. She ran up the steps and slid down the slide, climbed through the tunnels, and swung on the swings just like she'd designed the playground herself!
When the bell rang, she darted for the door... the EA (Educational Assistant) who was out there to guide her, did just that! (Sheri, who was an EA in Early Childhood at the school Rylee attended for preschool, is now an EA at this elementary school, and we couldn't be happier!) Sheri took Rylee's hand and got in line with her. As I was
snapping pictures and blinking away tears watching her line up, she began to cry. Oh crap. Is this when I can melt down, too? Oh, no wait. I've gotta be the strong one. (Thank goodness I'm wearing sunglasses.) I walked up to her, gave her a hug, and gave the "oh-you-are-going-to-Kindergarten-and-going-to-have-so-much-fun-and-I-will-see-you-in-a-bit" pep talk. She perked up, and within seconds, the kids were walking into the school.
So, with Rylee in the school, I did what every parent does after dropping his/her child off at the first day of Kindergarten.
I walked to my car and drove home. I snuck into the school and peered into the classroom through the window on the door. And by the way, the person who put small, skinny windows on classroom doors was never a parent trying to peek in on his/her child. And especially not a parent trying to take pictures through the window. But, I managed.
Rylee is settled at her table, coloring a picture. A Kindergarten picture. In her Kindergarten classroom. *sniff*
I saw Rylee ask Sheri something about "Mom." I assume that she was asking where I was, but maybe I'm flattering myself. She could very well have been saying something like, "Aren't you glad my mom left so now we can have some Kindergarten fun?" (Well, Rylee doesn't talk in big long sentences quite like that, but she definitely could've said something eluding to that.)
So, I left. I really did. I went home.
Now, it isn't like this is all new to me. Rylee has attended 1/2 day Early Childhood (preschool) since she was 3 years old (so if you think I am anxious sending her off to school at 5 years old, just imagine what I was like when she was 3!) Her 1st 2 years she went in the mornings, and last year she went in the afternoons. It isn't like it was the first time she had been gone. But, it just felt different. I mean, seriously, people. It's Kindergarten. They wouldn't name this grade such a long name for little kids if it weren't super-important. I used to teach this grade before I had Rylee. And now, she's just that. A Kindergartner.
And being completely disruptive was totally worth it... this is the picture I got when she saw Carter and me.
Carter even got a hug, and the two of them had a mini-conversation about the morning while I took a few pictures and talked to Sheri.
When I told Rylee that she would be riding home with Pat, her eyes lit up. Pat drove Rylee to Early Childhood last year, and I don't need to tell you how much Rylee liked Pat. These pictures say it all.
We got a good report from school: Rylee did a great job sitting for their story and with Sheri's help, made an art project. Walking to music was tricky (transitions are always a bit challenging for Rylee) but she enjoyed playing drums in music class. Sheri said Rylee asked for "Mom" quite frequently, but with a little reassurance from her, Rylee was fine. All in all, a good day.
The rest of our day was typical. A little lunch, some whining, short naps, time outside playing, a bee sting (yes, Carter's okay) and supper... you know the routine.
But it's different.
We'll get up tomorrow and do this all again (minus the obsessive picture-taking) so I suppose I will get used to it all. But it will still be different.
I wasn't sure if I was ready for all of this. But ready or not...
Rylee is a Kindergartner!