Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day, First Week

Michael officially started kindergarten back on August 16. For some reason our district always has the kindergarten students begin on Friday. You'll notice I didn't post anything about his day on Friday...

Looking a bit manic before school!

That's because Friday went unbelievably well. I was a bit afraid that, if I posted about it, he would give the whole thing a second (or third) thought over the weekend and Monday would be a nightmare. Then Friday night he told us he loved his teacher and Saturday he told us he couldn't wait to see her again. And Monday he just got right up and went to kindergarten again like it was no. big. deal.

Tuesday morning he very casually said he didn't feel like going, but put up exactly zero fuss when I said he'd be going anyway.

But back to August 16. For many reasons I was worried about the first day of school. Michael is not a fan of change and tends to be anxious about new situations. He can also struggle with separation anxiety. He cried daily his first year of preschool, daily. Last year he put up such a fuss about going to Sunday School that we actually let him quit. He also gets easily overwhelmed in big groups and I think there are about 25 children in his kindergarten class. He also has an intermittently intense fear of any toilet other than ours, which is a story for another time.

Not only was I concerned about how he would do with the part of the day when he had to separate form me, I was also worried about how tired he would be. You see this little guy would still take a nap after lunch every day if we asked him to lay down. Not only is he doing morning kindergarten, he is also participating in an afternoon enrichment program, which means he is at school all day long.

So far, so good. Now he's usually a wreck by four or five on a school day, but he seems to handle things okay while he's there - which is all I can ask for.

The first day he didn't so much as hug me goodbye or wave when I walked him to his classroom. I almost called for him to come back and say goodbye to me but fortunately thought the better of it and managed to walk down the hall and around the corner before I started to cry...

And I did cry, although not that much. But I had a brief pang of grief that I'd just sent my baby away for the whole day... Even though all last year I left him all day, every day. I think it feels different now because, if I'm being fully melodramatic, kindergarten feels like the beginning of the end. Oh he has lots of childhood left -but the days of him being with me most of the time are gone. And yes, I even feel a little guilty that I gave up those days last year.

Michael came beaming to the car when I picked the children up from school that first day. "Great news, Mom!" he said, "Not one tear went down my cheek the whole day!"


Still smiling at the end of the day!


walking dot photography said...

what a cutie! :) And good job, Momma! You done good! :)

Giselle said...

He just looks so grown up!

My Michael has such anxiety and stress, and I'm so worried about his first day next week. But his sister is literally in the classroom right next door, so hopefully the teacher will utilize that resource if necessary ;) (His teacher was hers last year...and her teacher this year was Andrew's kindergarten teacher way back when,so we're all like family at this point)

BUT...I only have to give him up for half a day. Next year will be the major waterworks. For me.

Chris said...

Glad to know it all is going well. Melina would let us know if he has any trouble...of that I am sure. Great to see you this morning! (Gone to that eye exam yet?!?)

MamaK said...

My word, your son just keeps getting cuter! Glad to hear the first days went well. And ditto for me, on almost everything you wrote here (mom thoughts/feelings).

Emily said...

That last picture, he looks so much like you! Such a major triumph! That is awesome. I was worried about David for a different reason - he doesn't tend to have any separation anxiety, but he gets worked up and wild and has trouble following directions sometimes. But so far, so good. In fact, he was the first kid in his class to get to pick a prize for exceptionally good behavior. Hope he hangs in there for the long haul.

Cindy said...

Love knowing all these details and seeing all the pics...M has grown so much. What a sweetie.

CARRIE said...

I'm so glad it is going well for him.

G is doing great so far, and while it saddens me a bit that it is the beginning of the end, it also brings me such joy to see him getting out in the "world" and enjoying himself, learning and expanding his views and experiences. I try to remind myself that that is the whole point of this parenting gig, after all. ;)