The much anticipated first days of school have come and gone for my boys. True to life, the week turned out differently than expected. Graham came down with a 12 hour tummy bug and missed his first day of school. No chance at perfect attendance. I’m sure that isn’t a thing in preschool anyway!
Despite the being a day late, Graham started preschool on Wednesday with much success! Graham has shared all kinds of information about his time and his feelings about the school. I was nervous that my little homebody wasn’t going to be a good fit for preschool, but it seems he jumped in just fine. The only thing I can tell is a change in his behavior at home this week. There have been a lot of changes and strong emotions as we transition to a new fall schedule. Even though I’ve tried to remain calm around the boys, I’m sure they sensed the undercurrent of my emotions. Graham is a bit of a wild child at the moment. I have to remind myself that he is adapting to change, just like me. He is being pushed to try new things and learn new skills. It will take it’s toll until the muscles gain strength and a new normal settles upon our family. This same truth applies to all of us.
I’m grateful that Graham’s start to preschool has gone so well. I feel a smidge guilty that I haven’t been quite as worked up about him going to preschool as I have been for Owen starting kindergarten. Graham has the blessing of being the second child. Owen did two years of preschool at BKLC so I know what to expect in this environment. Graham goes to preschool in the same building as my husband and many other family members. He is in a safe environment where he is learning and trusted family members are just down the hall. It gives my heart peace. I wonder if someday I’ll have to apologize to Graham for never worrying about him quite as much as I worried about Owen. Even when it comes to elementary school, Graham will be a part of Owen’s drop off and pick up process for years before he is a student. By the time Graham is school aged, he’ll be familiar with the school and we’ll be familiar with the procedures.
Owen and I had a few mornings together while Graham was at preschool. The first day we ran an errand and got Starbucks. I wanted to do something special to fill up his love tank before heading into a new environment. On Thursday, we had our one-on-one conference with Owen’s teacher. She had us download an app where we could see pictures she posts of the class throughout the day. We talked about homework and expectations. I signed up to be her Tuesday morning volunteer starting in October. It was a good a sit down. I left with lots of paperwork to read and school picture forms to fill out and Scholastic book flyers to flip through. It’s a whole new world we’re entering.
Friday was the first official day of kindergarten. I’m so glad we only had one full day before the weekend. A full week of this routine is going to be intense! Owen went into his classroom just fine because his teacher helped whisk him in quickly before emotions could take over. I’m grateful that Jeremy was with me. He helped keep my emotions in check. Graham, Jeremy and I had breakfast out together after the drop off. I have a feeling that Fridays will become our run errands with Graham day. Saturdays will have to become more intentionally our family days. Throughout the school day, we saw pictures of Owen doing well and it put our minds at ease. The only downside of the first day was having to wake up Graham from his nap to get to school for pick up and then waiting for a half hour in the pick up line. Right now the buses are running behind, but in theory they should straighten out and with the routes changing this year, the bus now should drop off at our house at 3:32pm. This is about the same time that I was planning on being home with Owen anyway. I might just let the bus bring him home which would allow Graham a longer nap and save me the hassle of sitting in a sea of cars at the school. I will keep doing pick up until we see that the buses are running on schedule.
Overall, we survived the first week of school with flying colors. Jeremy is out in the woods today chasing down elk. The boys and I are having a home day. For me that means chores and finishing a required read for staff retreat. For the boys that means playing trains and watching cartoons. We’ve been living off of leftover pizza from our celebration meal last night. After sending my boys out in the world this week, it feels good to gather them close and have them home today. I just finished reading the 5 Love Languages of Children a week ago and it’s reminded me just how important each love language is in filling up a child’s love tank. I’ve tried to be generous with my words, hugs and kisses this last week in preparation for all the change. I’ve tried to do special things to show my love in tangible ways. Even though our days of being home together 24/7 have ended, I want my kids to know they have a foundation of love built with their parents. Even though they drive me nuts at times, I’m so thankful that God entrusted these boys to me. They are a blessing!