25 August 2009

Back to School!

Today was the day. The first day of school for Denton ISD. My 8-year-old, Madeline, started third grade, and she is a real pro at this whole "school" thing. She was so excited to be going back; I think summer's appeal had completely worn off. My 5-year-old, Finley, was a bit less enthused about school. She has always been quite attached to her mama, and nearly every separation is very difficult for her. Kindergarten was definitely no exception.

Bright and early, we arrived in the school parking lot (at right) with smiles intact. Finley was goofing around, giving her (much) big(ger) sister bunny ears and laughing hysterically. We made our way to the front doors of the school, where we queued up with other nervous parents and kids.

Near the front of the school, I found a lovely big rock, and I asked the girls to sit on it for a photo. Finley was still all smiles, but Maddie was NOT happy about being made to pose for a photo when other kids were present. "No more photos," she growled through gritted teeth (at left).

We swung by Maddie's classroom, where she was completely mortified when I suggested taking a picture of her at her new desk (sorry, Mads!). We left her on her own and then headed down to Finley's classroom. Her wonderful new teacher greeted her - by name - at the door, and we found her seat. This is about the point when Finley's bottom lip started to quiver and protrude a bit. I knew we were in trouble. I started trying to distract her with puzzles, taking photos (at least she was willing) and giving her hugs (probably hurting more than helping, but I can't help it). Finally it was time for me to get going to work, and time for Finley to forge ahead on her new educational journey on her own. Her teacher accompanied her to the classroom door to wave goodbye to me, and by this point Fin was full-on crying. She was the only one in the class who cried. But I know for a fact she was not the only one in the school who was crying, because I was myself! I managed to dart out of her sight just before the tears started. I popped my sunglasses on as I walked down the hallway to hide my puffy eyes, but they were there.

The first day of kindergarten is surely an emotional time for all moms. Watching your little baby - who was surely just born, wasn't she?! - start an adventure that will last the next 12 years is difficult. But it's also so exciting. I can't wait for Finley to learn how to read. I can't wait to see all the neat artwork she creates. And I can't wait to meet all the new friends she'll make. It's a journey for both of us, and one that I am more than happy to take.
— Claudia

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