I wasn’t sure if I’d cry on Abigail’s first day of school. I was feeling so much relief that both girls are going to be in the same school, with the same schedule. I’ve spent the last three years feeling like I do everything in hour long chunks of time. Take Grace to school An hour later take Abigail to preschool Leave to pick Abigail up three hours later. Pick Grace up an hour after that. They are both in the same place for almost seven hours now. It is already helping my work schedule and I feel more productive than I have in years. So, there’s that. But, then, hello? My baby is a kindergartner. So, yes, I cried.
Abigail’s birthday is September 13th. She misses the state cut-off for kindergarten by 13 days. For years, people have asked me if I was going to start her at a private school so she could start kindergarten a year early. Abigail is precocious; she is smart; she is well-adjusted socially. I imagine that she would have done well starting early. But, her preschool teachers always said she was right where she needed to be. And, as usual, they were right. Abigail is a nurturer and a leader – I think it serves her well to be one of the oldest in her class. She is not going to be massively ahead of her peers academically. She is not reading yet (partly because I haven’t encouraged her to – more on that in a later post!), she’s not doing first grade math. I think she’ll do just fine. Would she have done well starting a year early. I believe she would have. I also believe she’ll do well staring now. And, I got an extra year at home with her. And, that is glorious. I think that extra year made it easier for both of us on her first day. A year ago, I don’t know that she would have been independent enough to do this:
She walked down the kindergarten hall by herself on orientation day, all ready to go and “meet” her teacher. Her teacher was Gracie’s kindergarten teacher as well. I was so excited when we got the post card letting us know. Mrs. Madison is kind and sweet and loving. She is everything you could ask for in a kindergarten teacher. Gracie excelled in her class and by the time she left kindergarten, she was more than ready for first grade and beyond. I know Abigail is going to have the same experience.
Overall, Abigail is doing great this week. Every time I ask her how her day was, she says “It’s out of the roof!” which I think means “over the top”. She had a slight problem yesterday. She spent her entire recess playing on the monkey bars (she’s a girl with a mission to get all the way across) and now has a dime-sized blister on each of her palms. My heart broke when I saw them and it broken even more when Steve & I told her that she needed to stay off the monkey bars for a few days. She sobbed and kept choking out, “But, Daddy, it’s fun! But, Daddy, it’s fun!” She had a meltdown this morning about a pink polka-dot shirt. I know she has a lot emotions running through her little self right now. She’s excited. She’s nervous. She’s a little sad. Just like me!
And my sweet Gracie? Well, now that she’s survived her stomach bug, I think she’s going to do great. On Sunday, she was nervous about school staring and while she said that Monday was a good day, she just didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic. She cried when she realized she had to sign a homework pledge. Now, in hindsight, I think she was already starting to feel badly over the weekend. Because, this morning, she looked a lot happier when she left with Steve and Abigail. So, I’m hopeful that she’ll be excited about third grade when she comes home today. Here she is, in front of her classroom on Monday. Her class is in a modular unit and she is thrilled about that!
(And yes, she has a surfing backpack, too!)
This is her teacher….
who you might recognize from the center picture on this layout:
Yes, Gracie’s third grade teacher was her preschool teacher! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Lynn was the one who taught her to read and also the one who went home and researched coping skills for Gracie’s early focusing problems. Lynn is dedicated and amazing and enthusiastic and I think it is going to be a phenomenal year for Gracie.
I’m really looking forward to this year for both of my girls!