My daughter started first grade this year. I failed to post about it back when it happened because I was busy being a lazy, good for nothing blogger. But I'd actually written about it, saved the post as a draft planning to wait so I could add photos and then completely forgot about it. As it is 11:09 on day 27 of NaBloPoMo, I decided there was no time like the present to dust it off and finally add the photos.
I'm also trying to turn over a new blogging leaf and stop saving so many things in draft. I feel mildly pathetic admitting that I currently have 18 things in varying states saved "in draft" status. If you think that's pathetic, don't forget that this one was saved in draft too up until tonight. So technically, I'd accumulated 19 of them. I know. I'm a draft happy loser. And a sappy one at that.
Because again this year I felt the need to take the day off from work for the first day of school. My husband made fun of this. The concept of needing a day off in order to avoid crying in front of coworkers is pretty foreign to him. He also thought he was done wading through my weepy first day of school sentimental crap until our 3 year old gets around to starting Kindergarten. Dude is so clueless. I know.
So I took the day off and had big plans that included weeping and feeling sorry for myself. Turns out, I was mostly just misty. Extended misty. But nothing more and nothing less. Maybe she's not the only one growing up.
We did the customary pictures in the driveway, pictures with the backpack, pictures in front of the school, pictures with the new teacher, pictures at her desk and pictures with her BFF. And then I walked out. No really.
Other parents were lingering. And not even lingering with an excuse like tying shoelaces or giving the kid instructions. Most of them had already seated their kid at their desk and had just sort of backed up behind them five feet and were kind of hanging out by the classroom wall. I was proud that lingering didn't even occur to me. We greeted the teacher, we put the backpack away and she sat down. And then it seemed like time to go. And I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the other parents were doing. It just didn't make any sense to me.
And that's when I realized I'd come a long way from last year. So I gave her hugs, kisses, a gentle "listen to your teacher" reminder and then I left. And it was good. It probably would have been harder if she hadn't look quite so happy to be there. That's one of the things I'll remember most about this year:
My happy baby. I hope she'll always be so happy and excited to be wherever she is. And I hope I'll always find strength and courage in her happiness. Even on days when I want to keep her small and mine forever.
I'm desperately proud and hopelessly sentimental about the first day of school. I hope every one of them continues to stand out in my memory just as much. I find them very defining. For them and me.
And if you haven't been sucked into the black hole of sappiness by now, let me open the vortex of cuteness and see if it can suck you in instead. Here is the reason I get up in the morning dressed and ready to set off on her next great adventure:
I'm delighted to be along for the ride.