Sorry for the delay in posting folks, but I had a bit of a rough day today. You see, today was the first day of school here in Michigan. As if that isn't bad enough (or good enough depending on your perspective I guess), my youngest started kindergarten today. Sigh.
Everything went smoothly this morning. Thing One and Thing Two got up bright and early. They dressed quickly and without complaint. Backpacks and lunches were ready to go from the night before. We had a lovely breakfast as a family.
Thing One, eager to start third grade, did his best to present a calm, cool and collected front. You know, he is eight after all. Thing two, looking cute as can be in her uniform, could barely contain herself. She has been waiting for this day for a very long time. So had I, until today actually came.
We packed the family up and headed to the school. We were greeted by a giddy mass of neatly dressed kids proudly showing off their new gear. Thing One was eagerly greeted by friends. His dad and I chuckled at his newfound aloofness with members of the opposite sex.
Thing Two was bouncing up and down looking in every possible direction. We said are farewells to Thing One leaving him with a large group of his classmates. Before parting, I asked if I could give him a kiss and he said he would rather just have a hug! And so it begins. Won't be long now before he will be horribly embarrassed by any attempts at public affection. Sniff, sniff. Excuse me for a moment while I regain my composure. Sniff, sniff. There. Ahem, all better for the moment.
We escorted thing two up to the banquet hall for some fresh fruit and juice before walking her down to her classroom. She walked into that classroom like she owned the place. She went right to her locker and got busy filling it with her new school supplies, nap blanket and pillow and other goodies. Her teacher suggested she see if she could find her spot at the table and partake in coloring a picture which she did eagerly. Engaged in her coloring activity, we knew it was time to go. We said our farewells and she resumed her activities at the table with her friends.
Before this day came, I thought that I would be a wreck. I remember how emotional it was when Thing One started school. But as we walked out of the classroom, I felt very much at ease. Her transition went smoothly and I knew she was going to love being in kindergarten.
As we walked to the parking lot, my husband asked if I was going to cry. As I turned to respond, I saw that in fact HE was the one with watery eyes! In my haste to process my own feelings about her starting kindergarten, I hadn't taken much time to consider how this might impact him. The bond he has with our daughter is incredible. She adores him and he adores her. A smile and a giggle will easily get her anything she wants from him (despite my protests).
We take the time as parents to discuss important issues (or at least I hope we do) such as discipline, mealtimes, behavior, morals, etc. But I think we forget sometimes to talk with our partners about the experience and related emotion of watching our children grow. Recognizing my husband's feelings about our daughter starting school reaffirmed to me what a wonderfully loving and caring father he is and how fortunate our kids (and me!) are to have him.
To all the parents out there who sent their kids back to school today, take a time out today to talk to your partner. Discuss the experience of watching your children grow. It just may serve as a reminder of some personal qualities that are often overlooked are too often.
PS: For those of you wondering why it was a rough day for me, my emotions about her starting school caught up with me when she came home!