1) The outfit. James REFUSED to wear what I picked out for him today. He insisted on wearing this outfit so that people would know he's the big brother and not a little kid. Sure.
2) The blanket. This blanket is his beloved. Don't even think about him sleeping without it. He needed the blanket-comfort for the 5 minute ride to school. (The blanket stayed in the car, btw, it did NOT go into school.)
3) The forced smile, reddened eyes. All summer long James was excited about kindergarten. He talked about it almost every day. He couldn't wait to go. Now, the day of, and he most definitely did NOT want to go anymore. The idea was nice, but the reality? No bueno.
He was tearful most of the way to school.
"I don't wanna go."
"I miss memaw."
"I don't want to go without you guys (mom and dad)."
Due to all his summer excitement and anticipation of this day, I figured he would be fine (no tears) and I would be a mess (lots of tears) at drop-off. The fact that he cried all the way there made it way, way, way harder for me. I held it together as we parked and walked in together. The parking lot was nuts, for the record. The closer we got to his classroom, the more composed James became and the harder time maintaining composure I had. He went right in the classroom, found his seat with the teachers help and sat down. His kind teacher invited me in, but I didn't go in the room. In every piece of pre-kindergarten communication from the school they stressed the need for QUICK GOODBYES on the first day. Don't linger, they said. So. I didn't. I paused for a moment to see if he would look back so I could wave, but he didn't. I hurried away and fought (unsuccessfully) tears as I walked out of the building. I had passed other moms on the way in that looked like I felt, a blubbery mess.
It is HARD to take your first born to school! And leave them there ALL DAY. For the first time, today, I've suddenly become a fan of homeschooling... (Lest I alienate the homeschooling community: I'm fine with other people homeschooling, just never considered it for my children.)
Stay tuned for the afternoon report from James about how the day went!
After a quite sizable car pool line, I picked up James after school. His teacher put him in the car and said he had a great day. She said he did fine, no tears, up until recess when he had a little emotional moment. She said it was brief and he was fine after that.
James was all smiles as he got in the car. He reported more of the same, that he had a good day and that he only cried a little bit. And that it was too hot outside at recess. And that the teacher was "happy at him." (translation: nice to him?? happy WITH him??) And he ate some of his lunch, but not all of it. And he didn't sleep at rest time.
I feel...relieved. He sounds like he had a good day and that going back tomorrow won't be the worst that's ever happened to him. For now, I'm glad he's home!