Boy, it’s really been a while since I’ve written. Seems I can only handle one hobby at a time, and lately I’ve been reading instead of writing. I’ve read some really good books, though.
I couldn’t let today pass without writing about it since it was such an important day in Maxwell’s life. That’s right: he started kindergarten.
We’ve been pumping him up for weeks, and we really kicked it up a notch when we realized that he was lucky enough to get the same teacher that Kendra had her first year of school. She is truly one of the best teachers I’ve met, and to top it off, she has an outstanding assistant.
I was not really sure what to expect from Max today, especially after we explained the behavior system to him (green is good, yellow is warning, red is bad). When I asked him what color he planned to be on every day, he shrugged and said, “green or yellow.” I was very surprised and asked him why yellow. He answered, very nonchalantly, “nothing happens at yellow, so it doesn’t matter if I’m on yellow.” Ugh!
Ronnie was able to take the morning off work to take him to class with me this morning. Max was practically bouncing into the school. He was so happy and seemed very excited. When we got to the room, his teacher showed him where to put his lunchbox, and then she told him to go see the teacher’s assistant to do some other things.
The assistant greeted him by saying, “what’s up?”
Max looked at her then very politely answered, “the ceiling…and the sky…”
See? He was totally himself…
Until it was time for Ronnie and me to leave.
When he realized we were really leaving, he became really uncertain. I knew he was getting upset when he suddenly needed to use the restroom. He was on the verge of tears, but he got himself together in the bathroom. The look on his face absolutely broke my heart. He put on such a brave front, but I could see right through it. He was scared, and he didn’t want us to leave. Even with other little kids crying in the room, he never did let himself cry. He was so tough.
Of course I burst into tears as soon as we left him. Like a big buffoon, I stood in the hallway and cried my eyes out over leaving my baby at school. You would think I hadn’t done this before.
I was anxious all day wondering how he was doing. I couldn’t wait to pick him up. I knew as soon as I saw his face that I would know if he had a good day or not.
And he definitely had a good day. When he and Kendra headed to the car arm in arm both with huge smiles on their faces, I knew he had a great day. So great, in fact, that he stopped to hi-five the principal on his way to the car!
Sure enough, he was totally energized when he climbed in the car. The first words out of his mouth were, “I have two new friends!”
He told us all about his day, which must have seemed like such an adventure to a little guy who has never been away from his family.
I asked him so many questions: what did you do? how was lunch? how was recess? did you have fun? do you like your teacher? and he answered each one with enthusiasm. Then he told me the great news, “Mom! You will be so happy when you see my color for the day! It’s the best color – the color of the grass!”
YES! He was on green!
I asked him how he felt when Mommy and Daddy left him that morning. He said, “I was so sad. I was trying so hard to hold my tears back. I feel like I’m going to cry now.”
And that’s what he did. For the whole rest of the evening, in fact. Well, I guess it was more of an alternation between extreme happiness and crying his eyes out.
The first day of kindergarten just took a lot out of him. What a great little guy!
Just for fun, here’s a picture from Kendra’s first day of kindergarten. It seems like so long ago. She’s in third grade now – really growing up!
Here’s a little excerpt of what I wrote about her first day of school. They sure handled it differently!
Anyway, we walked her to her classroom toting her bookbag (“Dad! This thing is WAY too heavy!”) and supplies and got her settled. We took a few pictures and gave her hugs and kisses. Then we left. I don’t know what I was expecting, you know, maybe a little twinge of sadness to be leaving mommy, but nope. She was cool with staying in a big unknown world with not a single person she knew in sight all by her little self.
Well, my preconceived notions were further shattered when we picked her up that afternoon. I was so anxious and excited to see her that I was driving Ronnie crazy – chattering, babbling, goofing, and flubbering. When I saw her walking to the truck, I jumped out to hug her.
She got in the truck and said, “I am SO thirsty.”
I gave her some water.
“Well, how was your day?” I burst out just itching to know every detail.
“It was good. I learned a lot.”
She sat back there not like the ecstatic little girl I thought she would be, but rather like an old pro, a jaded old kindergartener who had been there, done that, what’s the freakin’ big deal, mom’s acting like a buffoon again, oh brother.
I finally managed to get her to tell the highlights of the day and learn that yes, she loves kindergarten, and yes, she loves her teacher, and yes, she’s excited to go back tomorrow. She hated quiet time, was amused that one girl actually slept, and she thought recess was too short.
I’m proud of her. I knew she was ready.
I guess I just didn’t realize how ready.
It’s going to be a great year!