T-minus Two Days and Counting:
As a former first grade teacher, I know the drill. I know the fun these kids are about to discover. I know the incredible growth that will take place for them this year.
But as a mom, I wanna skip right past the first day… and maybe even the second day. I’d rather go right to the third day where things aren’t quite so new and scary, and the routine begins to sink in a little bit. My cool-as-a cucumber, ready-for-anything, ultra brave and mighty warrior is admittedly nervous about his first day of school and this turns my slightly frayed nerves into an anxious bundle of live wires that threaten to ignite at any given moment.
Last night we learned who his classmates would be, and got to meet his teacher. And then on the way home, he began to whimper a little and through his tears said, “Mama, I’m pretty nervous. What if I don’t like first grade? What if they make fun of me?”
First Grade Eve:
All day long, we sprinkled the topic of first grade into our conversations with Ryder. And with every little pep talk, I realized I was also talking to myself.
“It’s gonna be SO FUN!”
“The time will go by super fast!”
“When you feel sad or worried, just remember Joshua 1:9… Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Strong and courageous – easier said than done!
Lunch was packed and clothes were laid out before dinner. But only because I was terrified I’d forget. At bedtime, I walked in to find Ryder making his bed (which he’s never done a single day in his whole life) and arranging his buddies and some other belongings “just so.” People… My son was so nervous he was nesting.
The Morning Of:
I woke up before the sun so I could be showered and ready to go before the boys got up. I’ve learned that it’s worth losing a little sleep in order to have a stress-free morning – and I’ll take advantage of the fact that I was motivated enough to do it because I know it won’t last all year. In the quiet, I spent lots of time praying for Ryder, his teacher, and for myself… and it really helped calm my nerves.
Ryder was pretty quiet during breakfast, but seemed to perk up when he got dressed. By the time we spiked his hair, he was raring to go… a relief to this mama’s nervous heart. We snapped our traditional “first day” photo, and took turns praying on the way to school. And just for the record (’cause it probably won’t happen many more times this year), we were EARLY. Thankyouverymuch!
We enjoyed reuniting with friends and before we knew it, the principal and superintendent welcomed everyone with the pledges (Pledge of Allegiance, Christian Flag Pledge, and Bible Pledge) and a prayer. A couple hugs and kisses, a high-five, and one more “Have a great day!” and I watched my little boy walk pensively into the building to begin a new chapter in his life.
Evan and I visited my mom at work, and I received lots of encouraging texts from sweet friends who have been through this roller coaster before. We walked aimlessly around the mall for a bit, and enjoyed a treat from Starbucks before heading home. We haven’t done anything productive, but it’s been nice to have a quiet afternoon just hanging out together. I’m already beginning to see how easy it’ll be to establish a great routine. I keep checking the time thinking “Ok, now they’re eating a snack… Now it’s lunchtime… I wonder what they’re doing now… Only a couple more hours to go!”
[Cue racing heart]
I was greeted by a completely exhausted little boy! He perked up a bit when I told him we were celebrating his first day by getting frozen yogurt with some of his closest pals.
Me: Did you get your own special seat?
Me: Well, where was it? The front? The back? Next to a friend of yours?
Ryder: The back… or um… the front. I think.
Me: Did you like eating lunch at school?
Ryder: Yeah, it was awesome!
Me: That’s great… what made it so awesome?
Ryder: I can’t remember.
[Cue blank stare]
While I imagined him sprinting out of his classroom, smiling from ear to ear and babbling non-stop about all the wonderful new things he’d experienced that day, I’m confident he’ll get used to the loooooooong days with less playtime and really grow to enjoy the year. Overall, I’m just thrilled we made it through the day without any major incidents.
Now on to tomorrow, and Evan’s first day of preschool. Oh my!
***In case you’re wondering, Ryder’s lunch for tomorrow is already packed. Just sayin’ 🙂