Diary of a First-Grade Mama

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?”

[Cue heartbreak]

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.

[Cue heartache]

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!

IMG_7483We 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.

[Cue tears]

School Hours:

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]

After School:

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.

IMG_7494  This kid is like a steel trap – I’m having the hardest time getting anything out of him.

Me: Did you get your own special seat?
Ryder: Yep.
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’ 🙂



2 Responses

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  1. Keri
    Keri August 14, 2014 at 7:53 am | | Reply

    When Kelsey first went to preschool, she refused to talk about anything that happened at school, even when we asked very direct questions trying to draw information out of her. It seriously took her about half the year to be willing to even tell me what kind of art they did that day. Her teachers said some kids will compartmentalize school life and home life and then switch each section on and off as needed as a protective measure (i.e. if I’m at school, I’m focused on school only and won’t be able to miss mom). Once her teachers knew about it, they helped by taking a minute when I picked her up to talk with me and her as a group and encourage her to share some little tidbit with me. She still doesn’t come home babbling about her day but things will slip out occasionally on her own and she always answers our direct questions now. I’m sure we’ll have a repeat of her silence when she starts kindergarten next week.

    Hang in there with Evan’s first day, mama! It will seem like a lot of free time the first few times and then you’ll wonder how 4 hours can go by SO quickly!! =) Love you!

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