Here's the truth: The first day of school was sort of anti-climatic. Really.
Since this isn't my 6-year-old's first rodeo it makes sense with her. We had a great summer, but she loves school and was anxious to get started again. She was excited, I was excited, and that was that. However, she's starting to set a precedent of having something exciting happen to her on the first day. Last year, it was reciting the pledge of allegiance in front of the entire cafeteria full of new kinders and their parents. This year, it turns out that at the end of each day her teacher gives a trophy to the student who was the most well behaved--and who do you think got the trophy the first day? Yeah... you know who it was. My big girl, my PSP, sister extraordinaire, exceptional kid all around. I'm not sure how she's going to keep this streak going but so far I like it.
Now, you would think--I would have thought--that Lamp's first day of preschool would have been a big deal. A weepy, worrisome, big deal. But it wasn't. Probably because the weeks leading up to her first day were where I spent all my emotional roller-coaster money.
First, we had a hard time finding a preschool that was willing to accommodate her needs. As I said last week, I wasn't really that upset. I could tell that the schools I spoke with, including PSP's former preschool, just didn't feel that they had the necessary resources (enough teachers, classroom size, etc). Concurrently we were looking into our public school options as well. To be fair, there were a couple schools up front willing to take her--but one was more of a day care and the other, well it just wasn't a good fit--the mama gut didn't feel right on that one. But mostly, we got a lot of "no's." Polite "no's" but "no's" just the same. I got some leads and kept calling, calling and calling. While not angry, I was starting to feel deflated. Sad. I had to be honest about her needs and the extra help she would require, but I also told them how wonderful she is, how patient, loving, silly and smart she is and what a great addition she would be to their classroom.
Finally, I called a school and things were different. As I spoke to the director and gave my lil' speech about her needs I'm not sure I had even finished before I heard, Yes. Absolutely, we want her here. Maybe not in those exact words, but it wasn't far off. We ended up visiting that same day and as we were welcomed and greeted with open arms and open minds, I had tears well up a few times. I told the director that we had heard a lot of "no's" lately. She and her staff, were not only open to the idea of Lamp, but she actually had to make some pretty big accommodations--like adding an extra teacher for Lamp's class--and other arrangements just so it would work for everyone. I was astounded and continue to be so, so grateful. That being said, there were still some wrinkles to be ironed out. Miscommunication--man, I don't know how it happens but sometimes it happens and lets just say it was a doozy. There was an entire Saturday of my life dedicated to emailing, crying, air-punching, more emailing and screaming into a pillow. I can't remember the last time I was so emotionally exhausted. And we still had more running around, appointments, etc to make it all happen the next week. But the good news is, it happened.
We are at the right school with the right teachers and a wonderfully loving and accepting group of parents and kiddos too.
Kinda my favorite first-day-of-school picture.
I also love that she insisted on piggy tails. Sigh.
Since we had already visited the school a few times, the first day of school went something like this--I walked her in, we hung out for a few minutes, I told her I was leaving, hugs and kisses and kisses and hugs. And I walked out. She didn't cry, I didn't cry and that was it. For anyone who's interested she's only there 2 mornings a week--which is exactly what we wanted. A small taste of school life, social atmosphere with friends, but not too much time away.
So how did I spend my first morning sans children?
I took a nap.
In this case, anti-climatic turned out to be just what we all needed.