Mr. One is now a full-time student. I sent him off, tear free (for both of us) last Wednesday morning. He LOVES school.
I agonized over where to send him, starting in January (yes, you read that right, January). Should he go to our neighborhood school? A nearby magnet school with a focus in the arts? A back to basics school? The school I taught at previously? Honestly, there are so many good schools nearby. I cannot say that one was better than the other. Just different. I made up my mind. Then I changed it. Then changed back, then worried about making the wrong decision. Then worried some more. (My poor husband, trying to be supportive, let me vent my countless worries and listened to my pros and cons lists through the summer.)
Ultimately, I went with what I felt in my heart was the best choice for my precious son. I sent him to the place that felt like home to me: the school I taught in. I knew he'd be loved, he'd be safe, and he'd learn. So much. And have a wonderful kindergarten experience.
The night before, we went to school for Meet the Teacher Night. It is an entirely different thing to walk in the doors of the elementary school, not as a teacher, but as a parent. A new set of worries and excitements filled my mind. During the evening, part of me wanted to sneak into my old classroom and greet the new students myself. I loved that part of my job. The other part of me is so relieved to be a mom full time now and not have to worry about 20-something other sweet children in the classroom. He bravely walked the halls with us, greeting his teacher and taking in the new sights. We chatted with teachers and families we knew. We filled out form after form and got a school t-shirt. He became so quiet. So nervous.
That night, through teary eyes, he told us he was scared. My husband and I reassured him that all would be fine. He would be safe and he would have fun. His teacher would make sure he knew where to go and what to do, and we would be waiting for him when he was done. A father's blessing and lots of hugs made things better.
The next morning came, and my kindergartener was up and eager to get to school. My mom watched the younger ones so I could take him to school myself. We drove and talked. I walked him through the grounds to his teacher. It was so thrilling to see my little boy walking up to his line, ready to start his day. I will always remember how gigantic his backpack seemed. How adorable he looked in his new outfit, hair combed, parted and carefully combed to the side, glasses just slightly askew. How small his hand looked, secured in mine. I will remember with fondness his slightly shy smile as we waved good-bye and said "I love you" as he nervously walked in line, following his teacher inside to his classroom.
And I knew I'd be anxious to hear all about his new school and his new adventures.
It's going to be a wonderful year.