Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There's no crying in kindergarten

Gavin absolutely L.O.V.E.D. kindergarten.  The smile on his face when I picked him up this afternoon was from ear to ear and he talked non-stop the entire way to pick up his sisters (must get that gift of gab from him momma!)  Rewind to earlier this morning...

We arrived at BASE (the before and after school program), and walked into the cafeteria.  There weren't too many kids there, as I'm sure many mommies and daddies were going in to work a little late so they could see their kids off on their first day of school.  My heart wrenched at my inability to do so as well, but as a teacher, it's kind of hard to see him off into his classroom while I'm also supposed to be in my own classroom welcoming my new group of little darlings at the exact same time.  I had to accept the fact that my 'ideal plan' did not go as planned, and we went with the 'new normal'. 

I walked into the school prepared with my phone (for pictures), and two tissues (the perfect amount, as I could *hide* them in the palm of my hand--more would be too obvious, however necessary they may be!).  He hung up his backpack and lunchbox and turned toward me.  There were mere seconds until I would be turning to leave him behind.  My heart was heavy, my head was replaying little snippets of his life from day one, and my eyes were glistening with tears (from behind my sunglasses--no need to be *too* obvious).  Clearly Gavin had to recognize the magnitude of this moment in his life thus far.  I know, he'll have many more milestones, most of which are 'bigger' than kindergarten, but for now, he's five.  His life consists of not much in the whole scheme of things.  His biggest milestones have been walking, talking, learning to pee standing up, and becoming a big brother (twice). 

Didn't he feel the overwhelming mix of happy/sad that filled the air?  Didn't he want to cling to me for just a moment, to make me feel as though he was fearful he'd be lost without me?  Didn't he know that the first day of kindergarten is a pretty big deal in the life of a five year old and his uber emotional mommy? 

No.  He did not.  He simply looked up at me, glanced back at the table full of Legos, and looked up at me again, with eyes that clearly conveyed the message, "see ya later, mom!".  No hug, no kiss, no cling.  I couldn't even get a picture!  He was too embarassed, and in a split-second (and I really mean split-second) decision, I figured it would be better to send him off to kindergarten excited than to be angry at me for trying to capture his first moments in BASE for all eternity. 

Forlorn, I simply gave my baby boy a high five and prepared to send him on his way.  Then, in another split-second decision (or, most likely just out of habit), I leaned over and kissed his sweet little forehead, and told him I loved him.  He sort of tried to back away a little, but I think he sensed my whirlwind of emotions and gave in.  I looked at his little face once final time, and turned away, grabbing the tissue from my hand.  I really, really wanted to look back.  I wanted to watch as he went over to the table with the Legos and made a connection with the kids who were already constructing their plastic brick cars and swords. 

But I couldn't.  I knew if I turned and watched him from the window, as though he were an exhibit at the Denver Zoo, they might have to peel me off the window, and I'd be late for work.  Instead, I sobbed quietly, tears streamed down my face, and I drove off to work.  I knew that my *saving grace* from this teary-eyed mess that I'd become was the *ahem* 'sanctity' (?) of my classroom that would soon be filled with 28 fresh little faces staring up at me with saucer-wide eyes just waiting for me to stop talking so they can ask what time they'll eat lunch and when they'll have gym.  Thankfully, this being my 9th year of teaching, I knew pretty much what to expect and the rest of the day,albeit extrememly busy, went by relatively painfully (my feet are re-adjusting to heels, my throat is strained from giving directions and answering a million and six questions all day), and while Gavin was on my mind, my high-strung emotions were a thing of the past.

Then, this evening at dinner, Gavin was struggling with his burrito.  Not in the way where the ingredients spilled all over his lap and the surrounding floor as in the usual, but in the way where he couldn't bite down and chew it correctly.  He told us that his tooth hurt and had twisted today while he was at school. 

Really?!  My baby boy starts kindergarten and has his first loose tooth on the same day?  I absolutely, completely just *forgot* that this happened!  I guess I sort of remembered, but I didn't make the association that my son was approaching the age where it happened! 

So, after some discussion and reminders about the Tooth Fairy (or Tooth Berry, as Brynn calls her), Gavin is pretty on-board with the concept of losing teeth.  Me?  Not ready for all these milestones to hit at the same time.  If time doesn't slow down, my next post will be about him shaving!

so excited for school!

because Gavin cannot be the only one in the spotlight!

3 by 30...my 9th year of teaching...and 1st year as a teacher/mommy of a school-aged kid!

my oldest and my youngest

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