-We showed up to the first day of school, as a family, for the first day meet-and-greet. As we were getting out of the car, I noticed the chaos; kids and parents everywhere. I suddenly had that feeling of what it felt like to be a student, on the first day of school; the excitement of pulling out brand new folders that I picked out in the back-to-school section at Office Depot, the outfit I so carefully coordinated to go with with my new shoes, and that nervous – almost panic – of wondering who would be in my class, who I would have lunch with, and if all my friends from the previous year (::cough cough:: that ended just 3 months ago) would still be there. And now as I walked into the school gates as a parent, I saw one mom decked out in high heels and so much make-up you would need a garden rake to remove it and realized that the first day of school is a “thing” for parents too. It made me giggle with a confidence I only pretended to have as a kid.
-Once in the classroom, I noticed that several of the parents were already familiar with one another because of older kids they have that attend the elementary portion of the preschool. When one said, “I’ll see you at pick-up”, I realized that “pick-up” is also a thing; I mean these parents see each other twice a day, nearly everyday. I was reminded, again, why my mom always told me my friends would change throughout my life depending on what I was doing in life. So I introduced myself to a few other moms.
-My firstborn, my more timid and cuddly and dependent son left my side immediately. Toy trucks take precedence these days. He didn’t even take his backpack off. I had to ask for a hug and kiss. I called my sister on the way home. She asked if his independence made me sad. I felt nothing other than pride.
-Entertaining a second born while the firstborn is away is hard work. It’s like my little babysitter disappeared and suddenly it was just he and I. Made me realize just how strong their relationship is.
-As soon as Van and I pick Hooper up, Hooper attacks. It’s like he has all this pent up maliciousness that he’s (hopefully) held in all day (I mean all three and a half hours ::cough cough::) and so he just unravels as soon as he sees Van. We’re working on it.
-Papers. Oh dear Lord, the papers. Everyday there are new papers. It’s like the junk mail followed me from the mailbox. Information on this and information on that, I can’t even say what all the papers are about because I haven’t even begun to look at them. After only a week I felt as though I was drowning in them. And, of course, there’s the lovely* artwork that I can tell Hooper spent so* much time working on ::wink wink::. Am I a bad parent if I throw that stuff away? Rhetorical question because, well, I’m gonna throw it away anyway.
-For the first three school days I noticed, in hindsight, that I never put the right time on the sign on sheet. I was off by an hour one day and thirty minutes another day. I was worried about having to wake Hooper up so early to go to preschool but I think it’s me that could use the extra rest. Ha.
-He’s made a friend. I caught them as they locked eyes after school and they gave each other that look of oh-my-gosh-I-know-you-and-I-like-you-but-what-are-you-doing-here-look (as soon as they’re outside of the classroom it’s like a whole other world). The exchanged the cutest wave and both went on their way with an occasional glance back to see if the other was still looking.
-I knew seeing him go to preschool would make him appear all the sudden more wise, more grown. What I didn’t expect is that I’d have a mini teenager. He’s how our post-pre-school conversations have gone:
Me: “What’d you do at preschool today?”
Me, trying to take a different, more open ended approach: “Tell me about your friends at preschool”
Me, thinking okay then, he must be hungry, “What would you like for lunch when we get home?”
Hooper: “I don’t wanna talk right now”
… two minutes later he transforms from pumpkin to fancy horse carriage, asking about the tractors and road construction and telling me how much he loves me. So, ya, he’s like a teenager. A split-personality teenager.