Monday, August 27, 2012
Off they go! Super excited and a little nervous. Just like my sisters and I when we started, many years ago. Funny that my kids are going to our old school and some of the same teachers are still here, must be interesting to deal with people as students and then parents!
Ira and Av started kindergarten today, and Eli, the second grade. (WHAT is in his mouth here? Gum? Great. Hope it didn't end up under his chair.) It was a tough decision to choose to re-do the second grade, but his birthday is the day before school starts, so he went into first grade pretty early. If I HAD put him in the third grade, he'd have been the youngest by far since it's a combined 3rd/4th/5th grade. Seemed a bit heavy for a kid coming out of a private school that's academically a year or two behind public curriculum anyway. Plus he's the same age as the other second graders and has lots of friends in that class already (including some transfers from his old school with the same issues as us and needing to catch up) so I figured, why push it? We talked it over a lot this summer and he decided he was OK with it. Eli is one smart cookie, absolutely brilliant in a million ways, but was always the youngest in his class. Competing with the older kids tended to make him feel intimidated and then he puts on this cool-guy "so what?" attitude and stops trying. He was afraid to fail. I can already see him feeling more secure among his own age group. Not to mention, it'll give me one more year to save for college. Ha.
His friend Parker (who is Eli's twin, personality-wise) immediately took him under his wing and found them some seats together, where they were soon joined by a couple more friends including my sister Jen's little neighbor, Shannon, who idolizes Eli, much to his dismay (and secret pride) and another boy from t-ball. They were all busily sharpening their brand new pencils when I left. The second grade teacher was my sister Myra's teacher when we first started public school after being home schooled. (I've also got a soft spot for her because she takes my dance class!) I've known her for twenty years, and she is very keen on children's emotional well being. I'm relieved to know that Eli is in her hands this year, and it's a great group of kids in that class. Only 11 or 12 of them, all sweethearts.
Ira was instantly flanked by Av and his good buddy Ellis upon arriving in kindergarten. The teacher is the father of high school friends of ours. A big, bald teddy bear of a guy, constantly clowning and making the kids laugh. Av is an old hand at school, since she went to preschool last year, and they found they already knew several of their other classmates. Jen and I hung around for the first 15 or 20 minutes, not because the kids needed us, but because it was awful hard to tear ourselves away from watching. Our babies in school!?! How can it be? I have spent months worrying about silly things like: how do tiny five year olds balance those cafeteria trays? What if they lock themselves in the bathroom? Ira and I have had hours worth of hygiene, stranger, and safety talks. And I've made several calls to the school secretary to ask these same ridiculous questions. The great thing is, they have a response to all my concerns, and so far, I've been very impressed with how terrific I've felt all their answers. I love that the school is small, smaller even than the private school Eli attended in the past, and well organized. And I'm in raptures over the idea of Hot Lunch. With my meager income, we qualify for free hot lunch, and what a difference that will make in both my budget and our mornings. I can now spend the time helping the kids get ready rather than just repeating, "Please, please, PLEASE! Get out of bed! We'll be late!" in a harassed voice from the kitchen while I make sandwiches and cut up cheese and veggies to pack in lunch boxes that you can never quite wash that stale food smell out of.
Now I'm home alone on a Monday morning for probably the first time in eight years. This is unheard of! I'm almost lost! When I gather my wits, I'm going to take this rare opportunity to clean the apartment from top to bottom without interruption, and then I can't wait to pick up the kids and hear all about it. By next week, I'll be busy working during many of the school hours, but at the moment I just can't even think of what to do with myself! I've literally looked at the clock a dozen times with it barely moving. And I'm thinking myself through the kid's day...OK, Ira's in gym class...now snack time... Writing this post has gotten me through nearly to lunch, now to clean and then I'll be the first one in the parking lot to retrieve my big, big kids after their first day of school. Sniff.
Posted by Emily at 9:48 AM