28 August 2012
As I prepared Benny (and, let's face it, myself) for his first day of kindergarten, I couldn't help but wonder how moms throughout history felt about their little ones growing up and doing increasingly independent things. Although kindergarten is a relatively small step for Benny since he's been in daycare of some form or other for the past three years, it's a BIG step in terms of his independence and development. However, it's certainly not a walkabout or something of that sort. Did aboriginal moms choke up at the very thought of sending their sons away? Did they cling to them and their babyhood and toddlerhood for as long as possible?
No matter my feelings, Benny prepared for kindergarten in his own way: At first he was excited, but as the first day grew closer, I could see his anxiety building. He wouldn't tell me that, of course. He's still not sure how to express those feelings. But he sure acted like it. I was a bit worried that his shyness would outweigh his excitement.
The first day was pretty easy - only 2 hours. Because the school had scheduled kindergarten evaluations all day yesterday and half of the day today, school started at 12:30. Nate and I asked Benny where he wanted to eat breakfast and we planned a Benny-only morning. We ate breakfast at Snooze (Benny had a pineapple upside down pancake and declared it "delicious" and "awesome"). Then Benny and I ran some errands before heading home for some bingo and lunch.
His first day started in the auditorium with 75 other kindergartners and their parents. The principal, Dr. Potts, read The Kissing Hand. Benny was very excited when he spotted his teacher. He even clapped at all of the silly announcements, something I don't think he's ever done before. Then he walked, hand in hand, with me and Nate. He rarely holds our hands any more, so it was quite a treat for me in my emotional state!
Then he lined up with his friend Adam and walked into his classroom without looking back.
I held it together up until I walked away from the school. I cried a bit and then went about my day. Of course, I'm experiencing a wide range of emotions. But for the most part, I'm excited. Learning is a gift and I can't wait for him to share his gifts with me!
Benny's assessment of kindergarten: "I want to stay in kindergarten forever!" Guess it went pretty well!