Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day

Yesterday was Landon's first day of Kindergarten at our neighborhood public school!


I know this should be a sentimental moment, at least according to all the smashed together hashtagged phrases involving the word "tears" on facebook (can I just note how much I loathe hashtags, loooathe them and their infiltration of my facebook feed), but I felt nothing but excitement and happiness. And not just because public school does not require a hefty cash deposit and credit card number to register (though I am very excited about that), but because I LOVED school. I loved it. Every grade, every class, every moment, ALL of it. If I could go back to Kindergarten and do it all over again just for fun I would agree in a second. So the emotional aspect for me was found in walking the hallowed halls of an elementary school and seeing all the bright shining faces, the stiff new backpacks, the teachers in their first day of school outfits (my mom still picks one out weeks ahead of time), and the decorated classrooms with names on the door and on the tables and desks. The whole scene made me so happy on the inside I felt I might burst.

And of course, I'm just so excited for this guy.

My 6-year-old baby boy (and 29-week baby girl)

Landon is an essentially sociable creature who loves people as much as I love school supplies, so after his week at home with the backup care nanny, he was VERY ready to rejoin society. We attended Meet the Teacher night on Friday to meet his teacher (duh), show him around the school, and see his classroom, and he was so excited to see everyone and everything. His teacher has been with the school for 20 years and actually attended Kindergarten at his school herself- and in her very same classroom! She seems great and we're looking forward to a wonderful year for him.

Meet the Teacher night

I had the first day morning all planned out, and for once (and thanks to a lot of nighttime prep work and the setting of multiple alarms), it went just as I hoped. I popped the Cinnamon Baked French Toast that I'd prepped the night before into the oven at 6 a.m. and woke the kids up at 6:30. The usually wake up closer to 7:30, so they were very surprised to find me in the room and the sun not yet up. When I walked in Claire immediately popped up in bed and yelled, "Is it time for Yandon's first day of school?!!!", and Landon just rolled over, pulled his pillow over his head and muttered something along the lines of, "More sleep, not yet." Proof again that Claire is 98% me and Landon is 99% JP, it is truly crazy how evenly we're divided among our children.

Excited! Also, a little confused about why it's still dark outside

Landon perked up quickly though (the 1% that isn't quite like his dad) and was out of bed and in his shiny new uniform within minutes. We got his monster lunchbox and Batman backpack all packed and then headed outside in the semi-dark to take a few pictures while the french toast finished baking.

My boys, humoring me

Claire was so excited for her Yandon, possibly even more excited than her Yandon was himself. She can't WAIT to be back in the same school with him in 2 years, but when we told her Kindergarten didn't allow blankies, she thought maybe the delay was okay.

So excited for her big bro (and herself, Claire just generally loves an occasion)

When I attended my friend's bridal shower a few weeks ago, her dad had put together a little slide show that included a series of pictures of her and her big brother shaking hands every year on the first day of school. It was so sweet to see them through the years- all tiny and adorable and happy to shake, then all teenagery and differently adorable and grudgingly shaking hands, and then all adult and on their way to college and sentimentally shaking hands in the family's foyer with the moving van in the street in the background. The whole thing made me teary and I vowed I would do it with my kids starting on Landon's first day of school.

So I did.

No. 1 in a future series of 20+

We sat down to breakfast right at 7 a.m. like the civilized organized breakfast eaters we were pretending to be. That will likely never happen again (we do make sure the kids get a good breakfast, but it is not prepared from scratch nor do JP or I usually manage to sit down with them), though thanks to leftovers of the french toast bake, we're able to taper them back down slowly to the usual bagel or cereal plus yogurt or fruit combo we generally provide.

We drove a short distance to a friend's house who lives right across the street from the school and whose son is in Landon's class. The boys were adorably matched in their navy polos and khaki shorts and we all walked over to the school together, Landon looking like his usual happy self, his friend looking increasingly nervous, and Claire looking delighted to be in the pack.

The fam, once we were around enough people to hand the camera off to someone

Landon had no qualms about marching in to school and finding his teacher and classroom. We made a complicated decision in holding him back a year, much of it having to do with his summer birthday, his prematurity, our having just moved when it was time to sign up for school, and, most importantly, JP's experience and strong feelings about being too young for his classes all the way through school. I think Landon likely would have been fine to start last year, but there's NO doubt he was very ready this year.

Not even a glance behind him to see if we were coming with him
(which we were, which was good, because he immediately went the wrong way)

When we got to his classroom he hung up his backpack and lunchbox and sat right on the carpet ready to go. When we moved to leave (dragging Claire off the carpet where she was sitting next to him, also ready to go), he jumped up to give his daddy one more hug, and then sat back down all smiles while we walked out the door.


I was in a meeting all afternoon with opposing counsel on one of my investigations, so I begged JP to text me when he picked Landon up to let me know how the day went. JP hates texting and has probably sent me less than 20 texts since texting was invented, but I did get one right at 3:10 that said, "Great day!" That little update, sadly lacking in detail though it was, gave me a big smile in the middle of my very serious conference.

Squee! (I knew he'd had enough of pictures at this point, but I couldn't help it- Kindergarten!)

I got the full rundown when I got home at 6- the rules, the work, the cafeteria (we all sit together and you can buy food there mom! you can BUY it!), PE (we play games!), recess (!!!), new friends (many!), new crayons, and new behavior chart (I got green mom, green means I did GREAT!). Claire had many questions, JP wanted to know more about recess, and I just loved hearing it all.

Landon told me his neighborhood friend was nervous and "a little sad, but don't worry mom, I sat next to him and told him I'd give a shark tattoo tomorrow so he will be happier- can I bring him my shark tattoo? I think that will fix it." I love his heart and his enthusiasm and his genuine love for every person he meets. He never gets anything that he doesn't ask if Claire can have some and he always wants to share anything he loves with everyone he knows. I hope he always keeps that sweet and special part of him. I hope that school is a great experience and that he continues to love learning (I already know he'll love lunch and recess). And I really am just so excited to watch him take this next step into becoming himself, and to get to be part of all the stories and commentary when he comes back home. I adored toddlerhood, but this big kid era we're entering looks to be it's own kind of awesome, especially when my big kid still needs to be tucked in with a hug and kiss when he goes to bed.

Bring on the Kindergarten!


  1. This year is a fun one for parents, too. Enjoy (while it lasts) the fact that the biggest demand on you is that you provide 100 of something for One Hundred Day or maybe a dozen cupcakes for a holiday party. Way too soon you will be saying to friends, "We'd be happy to come over this weekend if he doesn't get assigned a new project" and making a "project closet" with poster board, paints, markers, stickers, report folders of various descriptions (with or without pockets; with brads or not) and every permutation of paper!

  2. Our daughter starts Kindergarten on 9/3. I am one of those who is feeling very nostalgic and teary about the occasion. I, like you, LOVED school, and have no doubt that she will, too. In fact, when I toured her school during registration in the Spring, my excitement for her was renewed. But still... what this milestone represents is what is killing me. My baby is growing up. Today it's Kindergarten, tomorrow it will be college. One thing that I have noticed from reading along with you since my rising Kindergartner was still in utero is that you have an incredible ability to live in the moment... I need practice with that. While half of me is excited for her, the other half dreads what is to come... which is all exciting, but all also a step closer to her being out in that big world by herself.

    1. I guess for me, this milestone doesn't represent anything that makes me sad because it honestly seems light-years (well, 13 years) away from college and all that that represents. K-12 takes a pretty long time to complete and he's still such a little boy, that I just don't have any tingle of "you'll be at college tomorrow" when I look at him smiling with his Batman backpack and Monster lunchbox. And I think, even if I did, it wouldn't be dread for me- I adored college, I love being an adult, I LOVE every time I drive back home to visit my parents- I want him to love all those things too and I don't know that I'll associate dread with any of it (and I certainly don't want him to associate dread or sadness or worry for me with it). I'm excited, as my parents were for each of us, for him to love every step of the process and I think it's just my job to prepare him, cheer for him, and share the joy of each stage because they're all so great. Not that I won't cry in 13 years when we drive home after dropping him off from college, because I absolutely will (I read a poem about it the other day and got all teary and ridiculous as I tried to re-read it to JP), but at 13 years out, it just doesn't feel real to me enough to connect it with Kindergarten. But it's entirely possible the free public education aspect of it is softening any emotional blow :).

      Good luck on the 3rd!

  3. The school years are so awesome and Kindergarten is especially magical. I'm happily re-living it now with kid #2. Enjoy it all! Congrats, Yandon!