I was going through old files on my computer the other day and came across this gem, written on Ryder's first day of kindergarten. The first day of kindergarten that now, 3 1/2 years later seems like an eternity ago but just yesterday at the same time. I've learned that's the way of the parental timezone. Time stands still and flies by at the speed of the light simultaneously.
August 21, 2008
It’s fitting that it was drizzling and dreary out this morning, I’m pretty sure that was a sign of God’s sympathy as we sent our baby off to kindergarten. Yep, we did it. As tempting as it was to say he’s too young we’ll send him next year we stuck to our guns and let him go. It’s like ripping off a bandaid, it would just hurt worse next year so might as well do it now. But it was every bit as terrible as we expected.
Up until last week, Ryder kept saying he didn’t want to go to school and would even get the trembling lip and watering eyes when talking about kindergarten and said he wasn’t ready to go yet. The good mom part of me was thinking “oh man, this first day is going to be rough, he’s going to be clinging on to us, begging us not to go and I need to really talk kindergarten up so he’ll be ready”, the other bad mom part of me was thinking “cool, we’ll just wait til next year, I’m not ready for him to go either.” But then something changed one day last week, and he looked up at me with that adorable baby face and big blue eyes and said “Mommy, don’t be sad I’m ready to go to kindergarten now.” Oh man, there goes my plan. Time to prepare for the worst.
Last night, the plan was to get them into bed by 8:30. You can imagine how that went. Two little boys finally fell asleep at about 9:45. That could’ve made for some really grouchy kids this morning. But when GI Joe went in to wake Ryder up this morning he was his normal sleepy self until GI Joe said “c’mon buddy you get to go to school today”, and with that magic word of school, Ryder BOUNCED out of bed and into the kitchen for his breakfast of champions. By 7:00 Ryder was dressed, teeth brushed, shoes on and ready to go. Too bad the bus didn’t come for 30 more minutes. We killed some time by taking the standard 1st day of school pictures, or should I say photo documentary. Ryder was more than happy to oblige, some with the backpack, some without, whatever I wanted, he was in rare form. Dakota and Blade on the other hand barely tolerated it but I got some of them as well.
I gave it about 10 minutes and then hopped in my car to head for the school. I get there just as their bus is pulling in, phew! I got to the sidewalk just as kids start getting off the bus, first Dakota, then Blade, then Ryder. I immediately started quizzing Blade and Dakota to make sure that one of them sat with Ryder. I still haven’t confirmed who sat with him if either, but he didn’t seem traumatized so that was a relief. I forced them all to come over to our annual “in front of the school” photo backdrop for yet another round of pictures. Ryder and Blade were both now slightly irritated with me as they just wanted to get to their classrooms. Dakota has learned to just humor me and it will go much faster. Pictures done, I let Dakota and Blade take off for their classrooms, I of course will stop by momentarily to photograph them even more. So Ryder and I get to his classroom, pause for another photo op, then go inside and get him settled. I think at this point he’s ready for me to cut the apron strings and leave, but I’m not ready to do that yet. I dilly dally as he puts his stuff away. I finally decide it’s time for me to move on. I tell him to give me a hug. He says “MOMMY!!” in an exasperated tone as if to comply with my sentimental wishes would tarnish his cool kid reputation for the remainder of his educational career. I pick him up and give him a big ol’ hug and kiss anyway. He laughs and tells me to put him down. Reluctantly, I do and then turn to leave. Stealing one more glance at our baby boy. Can this really be happening? Will he still hold his arms up for me to pick him up now that he’s a kindergartner? I hope so. I know that I'll blink and it'll be his senior year and we'll be visiting colleges and arguing about curfews. But for today, I'm just going to savor the fact that this is just kindergarten and we get to keep him for another 12 years and that he still lets me pick him up and give him hugs and kisses. That might be hard to do on his first day of college. But I'm willing to bet the farm that I'll try because no matter how big or old he gets, he'll always be my baby. I just may throw my back out doing it. :)
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