I'll never forget the motto my mom sent me off to fifth grade with: "Just smile," she said, as she put me on the bus that morning. I was switching from a private Christian school to public, and while I knew a handful of kids that would be there, I was basically stepping foot on to very unfamiliar ground.
The morning Reese woke for preschool, I got to lie in bed with her for a few minutes. She snuggled close to me and talked a mile a minute. There's one thing for certain and it's that she never seemed shy or hesitant about going to a brand new place, praise God for that. Our Pierson, her big brother, started kindergarten this year, but she was starting her school year first. I looked her in the eyes and hugged her so tight. "Reesie, if there's one thing you remember today, remember this: just SMILE." She said, "Okay, Mama!" "Reesie, smile, because then you'll help the other kids feel happy too and they'll know they can be your friend." I then changed her into her brand new first day of school outfit and there it all began.
Dropping her off the first day really wasn't all that bad. My husband and Pierson came with me, and we all hugged and kissed her several times. She was a little bit shy, but she didn't shed even one tear. I went off to set up my classroom and I swear I don't think I've ever missed her more in my life... (and she was just twenty minutes away!) When the time came to go get her, the three of us went again and Pierson and I were practically giddy with excitement. My baby girl and his baby sister!! They've never known (remembered) a day without the other in it, and it was very evident that he missed the heck out of her. We all walked to her classroom and there she was, putting together a princess puzzle, happy as could be. Pierson yelled her name and her little head shot up in surprise. "MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!" she yelled. She didn't nap that first day, as I figured, but she was HAPPY, ate a good lunch, and the teacher said she listened so well all day long. The second day (the very next morning) that she was dropped off, I went alone, and leaving her behind I could feel myself getting choked up. One of my girlfriends has kiddos enrolled at the same school and bumped into me in the parking lot. "You okay??" she asked. "I hope so! I feel like I'm going to bawl soon!" She assured me that second days are often harder than the first, and that everything was going to be JUST fine. Guess what? She was right :)
Reese has now been in school for two and a half weeks and isn't just doing great, we really believe she is thriving. Enrolling her in this program has gone a million times better than we ever expected, and EVERY single day that I pick her up (three days a week), she is all smiles, laughter, and pure happiness. AND, she even naps every single day! It blows my mind that my baby baby is old enough for preschool (and that she turns FOUR in a matter of weeks!!) but I literally could not be more proud of the girl she is.
I thought about doing two separate posts about the kids' schools but then ruled that out. My son Pierson started Kindergarten August 15th and has been at it for a week and a half. His dad is a teacher at the same school, and their classrooms are literally three doors down from one another...TALK ABOUT A PRAISE! Many of the teachers (and the principal) know Pierson really well from all my Facebook pictures and us being friends with them--so I never really had any anxiety about him starting. I am blessed to have a principal who allowed me to see him off on his very first day, and I was honestly shocked when the tears started streaming down my face. I know you're not supposed to let your kids know that you're truly SAD about them starting school, so I played it off super well; inside however, I felt as if I were breaking.
All of a sudden it dawned on me, that five years have come and gone. It literally feels as if they disappeared, and if the last five flew by that quickly, how much faster are the NEXT five going to go?! But Pierson hasn't seemed to mind. My big, strong, brave, and incredibly sweet boy--he had an amazing first day of kindergarten and excitedly told me all about it when he got home. How amazing is it though, that my husband gets to take him to work each day and also bring him home? He sees him multiple times throughout the school day, and their lunches even overlap. He's taken a selfie with him in the cafeteria every single day so far, and I told him to PLEASE continue so that I can make a little book at the end of the year of Pierson + Dad's first year of school. [How cute will that be?!]
Lo and behold though, an illness has already made its' way to one of them; Pierson came down with a 102-fever late Thursday night and is still (it's Sunday) struggling to kick it. Praise God it's nothing too hard to manage, but he is so lethargic and my heart hurts for him right now! He is loving school, and has received nothing but positive praise and compliments since the very first day. He listens, is obedient, is making friends, and my mama heart is bursting at the seams with pride!
Eventually I'll get back in the swing of writing more regularly here, right? That's the hope anyway. We are in the process of designing our living room, which has been super fun, so that post will be coming soon. Other than that, my husband and I are back to our own classrooms and are trying hard to stay afloat amongst busy schedules, lesson planning, and transporting our kiddos all over the kiddos [it seems that way anyway!] Where we moved is SO FAR away from so many friends and family, and even our jobs! 30-40 minutes in the car ONE WAY is a new challenge to our lifestyle, but I'm trying to stay positive about it because we love our new neighborhood and the people here.
OH! For the first time ever, I'm teaching kindergarten and first graders for part of my day. Last week was the first time I've had them; three sweet little boys, and oh my heart they are adorable. My students come to me for a special therapeutic day program--they spend part of the day in programs and treatment, and the other part in school with me. Have you heard the phrase 'herding kittens' before? That was literally how I felt. These babies come to me because they need help with medication--either getting ON the right one, or getting rid of them altogether to start from square one. It takes a while to find the right fit, but eventually they get there and are a little more calm :) In the afternoon I have fourth and fifth graders, and right now I have such a great group of girls! Friday they were able to take a vocabulary quiz and reading test; we had lamps on and piano music playing, and it did my heart SO good to see them so comfortable in the classroom.
Alright friends, time to wrap up. (You know right? Ha!) What's going on in your life right now? Are your kids in school? If so, what grades, and how do you feel about it? I'd love to hear from you so leave a comment in the section below or shoot me an email! Have a blessed week, y'all!
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