What a disaster!!! First, I have to explain that preschool and the elementary school are both within 1 -2 miles of our house, however, they are in exact opposite directions. Add to that fact the main road between preschool (which also has elementary, middle and high school) and our elementary school is closed for another two or three weeks for construction – not just a lane closed down here and there, but COMPLETELY closed. AAAHHH!! I knew there was going to be traffic, but it was awful. We thought we would take Grace to school first, and started out that direction, taking the back roads that constitute the “detour”. Nightmare. We sat in traffic for 10 minutes, and then decided to reverse our plan and take Ryley first as he was in danger of being late to his first day of Kindergarten if we didn’t turn around. So, back the other direction (with a pitstop by the house to let Ryley go potty and get the camera that I had forgotten), and sit in more traffic to turn into the school. Then we waited our turn in the loading loop. The original plan was to park so Michael and I could both walk him to his classroom. No go. Michael ended up staying in the car with Grace and Ethan while I walked Ryley to his class. At least Michael could see us as the “loop” passes right in front of the Kindergarten playground and classrooms. We barely made it. Ryley gave me a kiss and hug (surprised me as he normally doesn’t do that with a bunch of other boys around!), and got in line. The teacher took them into class, and in he walked without a single look back. I was so proud of him, but sad at the same time. At our school, the parents, especially of Kindergartners, are not allowed to walk into the classroom with the kids – they believe this helps with the transition and is less disruptive. So I, along with quite a few other parents, had my nose pressed up against the windows watching Ryley to see how/what he would do. It was like he’s been doing this routine for months. He found his name card, put his stuff in his cubby, and went to sit on the rug. My baby didn’t need me. He didn’t even miss me, as far as I could tell. He was just ready to go. I walked out of the playground area and back to Michael waiting in the car. There were a few tears on my part. Thinking back to Ryley’s Birth day, I could hardly imagine him coming home to us. I couldn’t even picture him heading off to Kindergarten, and yet here he is….a big kid starting this educational journey. I am so proud of him……how far he has come, how hard he has fought, all the work he has done to get to this point. He is a survivor, and he’s a tough little boy. He will do fine. I can’t wait to pick him up!!!
Today was also Grace’s first day of Pre-K, her first day of going to preschool without Ryley. She went right into her new classroom, excited to find her new cubby and start her own adventure. Once the cubby was located and she came back into the other classroom for opening circle, she looked a little lost. One of the other kids asked where Ryley was and I told him he was at Kindergarten. It seemed to dawn on Grace at that point that she was on her own, but she bravely went on to play with her friends. She’ll spread her wings on her own now, something I wanted for her when we decided that we would hold her out this year from Kindergarten instead of starting her with Ryley. She too will be fine. And next year, when I know she’s really ready, she’ll have her own first day of Kindergarten.