Friday, September 5, 2008

First day

Charlie went back to school on Tuesday. Initially, he was very excited. He talked about the friends he would see and the things he would do during the entire trip to school. When we got close, he said, “I see it! There’s my school!” It made me feel so happy that he was looking forward to it. I, too, was looking forward to him going back and getting back into a routine. Not that spending time with grandmothers was a bad thing during that week where school was closed but Mommy and Daddy had to work. I think, though, like most kids, he just does better when he has a routine and knows what to expect.

When we arrived at the school, his smiles and giggles immediately turned into whimpers and tears. We walked into the building and said hello to his teachers, we put his things away, and walked him to the classroom. My poor baby could not take it. Even though he had been spending his days there only a month before, he was not prepared for this departure. Finally, we tried to shuffle him off into the kitchen where other kids were reading books and playing while waiting for everyone to arrive. He looked at me with a quivering lip and red, red eyes and said with a shaky voice, “Bye, Mommy,” and gave me a great big hug. He held it together long enough for me to kiss him goodbye and make my way toward the door. Not two steps down the hall, I heard him lose it and turned to watch Miss M. scoop up my baby and try to comfort him. He tried so hard to be brave, but he just couldn’t keep it together. I’m glad he tried and at least held on long enough until I walked away. Otherwise, I would have started crying right there with him. I managed to hold back my tears until I got to the car.

When we picked him up at the end of the day, he was a happy boy, full of stories to tell about his adventures at school. I asked him about friends from the previous year and he was so excited to tell me about how he played with D., D., C., and G. He also told us in a sing-song voice about how he got to play “in the saaaaaand, on the swiiiinnng, on the plaaaaygrounnnd.” When I asked if he likes his new teacher, Ms. F., he said, “Yeah. She’s pretty.”

While we have continued to have tears accompanied by lots of sweet goodbye kisses at each morning departure, we also have happy stories at the end of each day. The morning commute is also full of anticipation about going to school, so I’m sure we will soon be mostly rid of the tearful goodbyes. He will probably even forbid us to even walk him into the school. I can just see it now - my 2 year old will give his favorite instructions, “You stay here. I do it myself.”