The First Day of School

There are some days where I feel a little bit older than usual. For example, when I hear from my Mother that someone has graduated from college and I know full well that I used to change their diapers. Today was one of those days.
Today was The Boy's first day of "preschool". I suppose we used to call it "the first day of school" when one started Kindergarten. In Germany you only celebrate the first day of "school" once, but in a high style that rivals Christmas. But as I have learned through casual observation, "school" is now a term used loosely to define any sort of regular daycare that one attends. I have a friend whose son has attended "school" since he was an infant. So by now he must be enrolling in AP classes... The Boy has started a two day program, but it's the same two days every week with the same schedule and it follows a "wee-learn" curriculum (no, they don't teach potty training), so by golly, we're calling it "school"!
I've dropped off and collected plenty of other people's children in my nanny days, but this is the first day that I dropped off my own son. To my surprise, there were no tears welling up in my eyes; ah shucks, I had to stifle the urge to sailor skip and click my heels as I departed down the corridor from the classroom- and boy would I have gotten some air if I had as I was pushing The Baby in the stroller! It's not that I don't love The Boy with all my heart and soul. It's not that we didn't have a fantastic summer filled with exciting outtings, picnics, and adventures. It's not that I don't still believe in the importance of my role as "stay at home mother". The little man has grown exponentially in his abilities to actually be helpful from time to time. But over the summer, as his daring/reckless/curious nature began to show itself, climbing to the top of the sofa for a better bounce, playing derby cars with the laundry basket and baby brother as the "driver", it became more and more clear that maybe it was time for The Boy to learn how to hold hands, how to walk in a line, how to eat lunch with his peers, and most importantly: how to appreciate his Mommy. Being ever so sensitive to the "big day" I spent the whole evening prior cutting his most favorite fruits into bite sized pieces, locking the cheese and turkey bites into little reusable, eco friendly, snap-and-go containers that he loves so much (the opening and closing of them more than what is inside). I packed two extra sets of undies and shorts, just in case. I stuffed it all, security blanket included, into his new construction truck backpack, and set it by the door. To my delight he emerged from the kitchen this morning announcing "The Boy's going hiking! Yeah!"
The Baby didn't follow the plan so well however (he was supposed to go to daycare too, giving me an entire morning alone), waking in the night with a green snotty nose, evident in his portrait, and a cough that would have made me look like a total jerk for leaving him in daycare. So The Baby tagged along for the adventure and thankfully, was a doll.
At first we were all systems go, arriving just a moment early to oggle at the playground and talk about our cool backpack. When someone else's child began crying we did waiver for a moment, The Boy's eyes brimmed with tears as I gave him a quick smooch and excused myself from the classroom. A good friend, also dropping her daughter for the first time, confirmed that those tears were just for show as two minutes later, when executing her own drop off, The Boy was happily playing and tearless!
When all was said and done, I got my wish; a quick and painless goodbye, an hour of girl talk and breakfast out. I lingered for an hour of peace and quiet in the city's new Barnes & Noble with The Baby slumbering in the stroller. I ate lunch in total silence at my kitchen table, I chewed and TASTED every bite. I posted this blog well before midnight. Perfection!


Julie Rivera Photography said... at September 2, 2008 at 6:55 PM

I love the 2nd to last one, but that first one is very funny to me....his hair all in place and that silly smile. Terrific memories and oh, wasn't the day delightful?!

Anonymous said... at September 5, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Oh so cute, but Memom expected as much! Love the backpack, but isn't it supposed to have wheels? I guess if he's just transporting lunch and dry duds, it's okay. So grown up for two and a half!!