Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yes, tears were shed...

on the first morning that Evan went to preschool.

However, none of those tears actually came from this excited preschooler himself.

This big boy was full of smiles all morning.

He's taken so many pictures with his siblings over the years on their first day of school. I think that this boy was really enjoying the fact that it was FINALLY his turn. He was so proud to be big enough to be heading to school just like his brothers and sister. Doesn't he look so proud?!
His brothers and sisters were so proud of him too. There was a lot of excited chatter at the breakfast table, with each of the kids telling Evan what they remembered about preschool. They gave him a big send-off group hug before we got in the car, and each of them gave him a kiss when they got out of the car at their school.

Then it was just Evan and me. As we were pulling out of the neighborhood, Evan saw a little girl that he thought might be in his class. He then decided that she was too young, that probably she has to stay home with her mommy. Despite the fact that he doesn't know this little girl, he thought that when he sees her again he should tell her that she'll be able to go to preschool someday when she is big like him. :)

When we arrived at preschool, he walked down the sidewalk,

opened the door,

and checked himself in. We said, "See you later!" He turned around and walked right in. He didn't even look back.

I didn't quite know what to do with myself. I so wanted to peek in the classroom to see what he was doing, to make sure he was ok. However, I didn't want him to see me all anxious, and in turn start feeling all anxious himself. The transition from mom to school for him went as well as I could have hoped for.

However, the transition from Evan with me to Evan at school did not go as well for me. I seriously missed him the minute I walked out of the school doors. Evan is our fourth and final child that I've brought to a first day of school. With each of the other kids, I still had another child at home that kept me busy. I looked at other moms that were dropping their youngest child off at preschool and thought about what it would be like to be one of them. I thought, "Wow, she has a couple of hours to herself now. What would I do with that kind of time? I could chat with the other moms longer, go out for coffee, actually clean the house, or go shopping ALL BY MYSELF? Imagine the possibilities!"

So today it was me dropping my youngest child off at preschool. Two hours to myself. Wow. Two hours by myself. No kids. On the one hand, I felt that the grocery store trip I had planned would be wonderfully efficient. On the other hand, I felt lonely. This was not the feeling that I was expecting when I was contemplating what it would be like to be one of those moms with all of their kids in school.

The whole car ride to Aldi, I felt more and more melancholy, mulling over the fact that our youngest has started school. I kept telling myself, "Sarah, get a grip. We're talking preschool here. We're talking only two days a week for two and a half hours. Seriously. Evan will have fun and you'll get stuff done. It's all good."

I felt OK when I pushed my cart through the doors at ALDI. It was definitely one of my fastest shopping trips ever. I was cruising down those aisles, conquering my shopping list in record time. Then, when I turned the corner of the cereal aisle, I came face to face with another mom and her baby.

I peeked in at her sweet baby, telling the mom, "She's so beautiful!" At that moment, it all hit me. My kids are growing up too fast. I want them to stop. I swear, yesterday Evan was just a baby, and now he's off to school. Sure, it's just preschool now, but then it's kindergarten, and grade school...All of these thoughts were running through my head, and then, much to my embarrassment, the tears began to flow. The mom looked at me and said, "Are you OK?" I told her that I had just dropped my youngest off for his first day of preschool. She looked at me empathetically and said, "I know what you mean. I dropped my oldest off at preschool this morning. They grow up too fast." We chatted a little more about our preschoolers' experiences that morning, and then said goodbye. I am so glad that at no point in our conversation did she say, "Seriously?! Get a grip. It's just preschool." ;) She was another mom who understood these bittersweet little milestones.

So aside from MY own separation anxiety and other issues :), Evan's first day of school was a smash hit. When I picked him up, he again was all smiles and had a lot to tell me about his day. He painted at an easel, made a cereal necklace, played pirates with Connor, and played on the playground. There was even a dinosaur at the playground that he got to climb on. He loved it, and says that he wants to go back.

Here's the two school boys posing after their first day of school. Looks like Evan has a pretty tight grip on poor Connor.

Wish they could stay three "until their Carter's wear out". :)


Mary Ellen said...

There were tears shed in Wheaton, IL as I read your blog, viewed the pictures of Evan and remembered! Yes, the time does pass all too quickly! Good job mom and dad! Oh, and one more thing enjoy the two days of two and a half hours! It is well deserved!


Kitty-Kitty-Boom-Boom said...

Awww....It'll be ok. In, like a week? You'll be getting TONS of stuff done and you will both be enjoying your time at pre-school ;) Like Bee tells me, "the time away makes you appreciate the time together even more!" :D