We started getting ready yesterday by picking out which outfit to wear (not that she has a lot of choices since they wear uniforms), packing lunch, and working on her All About Me project. Each student had to prepare a half poster board sized project that told 6 things about themselves and then be prepared to talk about it. We had everything laid out and ready before bed and then it came time to read The Night Before Kindergarten. I knew I was in for it when I started wiping tears away about half way through the book. Aubrey and I talked for a bit about what to expect today. I tried to speak in a way to calm her nerves, but also calm myself. She finally went to sleep and I went back to my room and read the book again, just to make sure I got the message that the first day is so much harder on mom and dad than the children. I went to bed feeling ok, but woke up several times through the night thinking I had overslept. You would really have thought I was the one going to school, as nervous as I was.
The alarm went off sooo early and we all rushed around to get ready. Todd took half a day off work to go with us and that turned out to be a blessing for me. Seeing Aubrey in her uniform and little pink Converse shoes was so awesome. She begrudgingly went through the obligatory pictures and then we loaded the car and took off for school.
At MICS on the first day, they let the parents participate in the morning routine of the Pledge of Allegiance, and then they do a little reading for the parents on the first day, again meant to calm our jitters more than the little ones. Then, her teacher, Mrs. Mims, led the students in a craft for us to take home. And, now I just need to talk for a minute about how in love with Aubrey's teacher I am. This woman was born to be a Kindergarten teacher. She seems to have patience and warmth coming out the wazoo. Its just amazing to watch her with the kids because she is calming and loving and everything you would want from a woman who spends her day with 5 and 6 year olds. At open house, we went in to meet her and she immediately got down on Aubrey's level and bonded with her over their love of sparkles (since Aubrey was wearing sparkly flip flops). She was so patient with me and my 25 questions that I know she's heard a million times before. I guess after 25 years of teaching, she must have heard and seen it all, so nervous parents are nothing new. When we walked in this morning, she immediately greeted Aubrey by name and complimented Aubrey's shoes. I think Aubrey is truly blessed to have such a special person as a teacher and I can't wait to see how things go through the year with her.
Ok, so back today. I managed to hold it together until it was time to say good-bye. I gave Aubrey so many kisses and hugs before I finally had to leave. It was so nice of Mrs. Mims to give the parents hugs before we left, but that's what started my tears. I know Aubrey will be loved in her class, but leaving her there still hurt a little. I just can't believe my little 7 lb, 3 oz baby girl has grown into this 5-year old girl that is ready for Kindergarten and it hit me hard. Todd knew I was upset so he held my hand, which helped to calm me down as we walked back to the car. We were all starving at that point, so we decided to get some breakfast before heading home.
Once we got home, it felt so weird to be there with just Mason. Even after 2 years of preschool, it just felt empty without her here. Around 11:30, Mason grabbed my hand and led me to the door and said "We go get Aubrey now" and I shed a few more tears then. The day went fast though because I managed to get so much more done with just him here and before I knew it, it was time to go pick her up. Unfortunately, the worst part of our day was the pick up line, but an after school email assured us it would be smoother by Friday. I surprised Aubrey with Anna and Elsa dolls in the car as a treat for making it through her first day, despite being a little scared. We then went out for frozen yogurt to hash out the details of the day. Her favorite part of the day: of course it was recess. I should expect nothing less. She said she had a great day and was upset that she doesn't go back until Friday.
We got an e-mail from her teacher tonight that said Aubrey had a great first day and shared this picture with us.
So, we officially have a Kindergartner in the house and we all survived the day. I will call it a success. I just hope the rest of the year goes as smoothly.