11 August 2011

Thankful Thursday - He's a big boy now

Today was a big day in our household, one I'd been alternately excited for and dreading terribly.  It was Teddy's first day of school.

Last night, we read Kindergarten stories.  I told Teddy we needed to be up at 6.  I fully expected him to be awake before that.  He usually is.

But when six o'clock came, he was still fast asleep.  For the first time in a very long time, I've had to wake him up rather than him being awake, waiting to hear Daddy or I get up.  It was actually a pretty easy morning this morning because Teddy was having brunch at school not long after he got there, and we had everything together in his backpack otherwise.  We went outside to take a few pictures, then headed for the bus.

Teddy, ready to head off into the wilds of Kindergarten.

Peter wanted to go to Kindergarten too.

The bus was supposed to be at the entrance to our apartment complex at 7:21 and we were supposed to be at the stop about 10 minutes early.  Since Rich, Pete and I were going to be meeting him at the school (the school system wanted the kindergarteners that were going to be bus riders to ride the first day of school... kind of get to know the driver, get to know the bus stop... things like that), we drove up and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  At about 7:41, we decided that we'd waited long enough and drove to school instead.

A mile trip took us 20 minutes.  Traffic is always bad on the road outside our complex (which is the same road the school is on).  This morning, I think because there were so many parents bringing their kids to school, it was worse than usual.  When we finally got to the school, I dropped Teddy and Rich off at the school and then drove down the road to find a place to park.  Great people at the school, but it's really not an ideal set up for visitors, arrival or departure.  I ended up parking near an abandoned service station down the road and walking back with Pete.

The only time Pete was upset was the minute I dropped Teddy & Rich off.  He was devastated that Teddy and Daddy were leaving him.  But as we walked up the road to the school, and then got into Teddy's classroom, he was fine.

Teddy, on the other hand, wasn't.  My poor baby was sitting at a table near the door, not wanting to color or read like the other kids.  We talked to him for a few minutes and when it was time to say good-bye, he started to cry.  I never expected it from him.  Teddy's always been the kind of kid that goes into a new situation - especially one where he can make friends - with a smile and a boatload of enthusiasm.  To see him crying today just broke my heart.

"I'll miss you, Mommy," he told me.  I hugged him and told him that today, he'd only be there for a couple hours. Daddy, Peter and I would be back at 11:30 to pick him up and the time would fly by.  He would have too much fun to think about missing us too much.  It didn't really help.  His teacher saw him crying and asked him for a high five, which he gave and then dropped his head to the table again.  I didn't want to leave him, but I knew I had to.  I couldn't sit there with him all day.

Teddy, sitting at the desk in his classroom.

I was also surprised that I didn't cry (though, for some perverse reason, I'm starting to tear up now).  But I was relatively okay with dropping him off.  Rich and I took Pete out to McDonald's for breakfast and a bit of time to play there, then headed back home for an hour.  We'd been warned by Teddy's teacher that we'd probably want to get there early because it would back up a lot.  We got there at 11 and it was already backed up.  So we sat in the car for 30 minutes, waiting for the kids to be released.  Once they were, though, things started moving pretty quickly. One of the teachers, or aides or someone, went to get Teddy when we told her who we were there for and brought him to the van.

He was a bit happier when we picked him up, he was still pretty subdued.  I think the whole day kind of got to him.  We took him to his favorite place for lunch, Dragon Phoenix, and he hardly ate there either.  It was definitely a big day for all of us. Though he did have a picture to give us that he'd drawn at school that day.  Mainly, it was scribbles.  But my son is abstract artist most of the time anyway. ;)

His first official piece of Kindergarten art.

Now he doesn't go back until Monday, and that day will be a 1/2 day as well.  Based on today, I think I'm going to drop him off and pick him up on Monday again, and starting with his full day on Tuesday, he'll start taking the bus.  I know that he'll get used to it, but I still worry about him.  After all, he is my little boy.

Teddy, showing his style at Dragon Phoenix
I'm thankful that I was able to see him on his first day of school.  And that I could try to ease his fears as I could.