This morning was Connor's first day of school. We were all so excited and he absolutely couldn't wait for morning so he could go. Since his school starts a lot later than mine we decided that Matt would get the privilege of taking him to his first day. I was a little jealous of this but thought that it would be a good bonding experience for both of them.
So last night, we got the kids to sleep and then Matt and I sat down to go over my slightly detailed list of how I wanted things to go at the big drop off. Needless to say Matt was nervous (he comes by it naturally, I certainly don't encourage it). After shuffling through the giant stack of paperwork from meet the teacher night, we got to the must take photo list. Here is where Matt started to sweat. He is 100% not comfortable asking strangers to take pictures of him. Exhibit A: why we have no photos of the two of us together on our honeymoon. There's Melissa on the beach....and there's Matt on the beach. Who knows if it was the same beach. Knowing this fear, I really talked him up. It was crucial to me that Connor have a picture of him and his dad together in his classroom preferably next to his backpack hook with the apple nametag. Not that I am particular or anything. So, it was time for Matt to man up. If I couldn't be there, then I wanted photographic proof of every step that kid took in his brand new Nikes. Also, in our paperwork there was mention of a letter of the week snack sign up sheet to be made available in the hallway. I drilled Matt on getting in there and getting us signed up for an easy letter like C or A. I just knew that if he forgot to sign us up we would be stuck with something ridiculously hard like V. What would we send? Vienna sausages and veal Parmesan? That would really help our child make friends. Matt swore he would do his best and we called it a night.
Our morning started out with Connor bounding in at 6am dressed with backpack on, announcing, "Mommy, I'm all ready for school, except there's something wrong with my pants!" They were on backwards. Before I knew it the morning was gone in a flurry of getting ready, packing lunches (in his new eco-friendly bento-ware) and then it was time. Three quick pictures and my little boy was off to school.
Let me just say here that I owe an apology to every parent of every child I have ever taught over the past six years (not that any of you read this blog) but I cannot believe how I underestimated how hard it is to let your child go. I have had it made these last few years with Ms. Karen. She just felt like an extension of myself. Granted a much wiser, more patient extension, but going to her house felt like baby steps into the real world. Baby steps taken in soft, knitted with love, slippers. This morning, for me, felt like a big shove off a cliff. But let me tell you, my baby bird was ready. Matt, in our extensive, minute by minute breakdown of the drop off said he was so amazed because he couldn't help remembering how he felt on many of his own first days of school. Shy, nervous, scared, probably terrified that he would have to ask someone to take his picture (just kidding on that last one, but kind of not really). He said Connor acted like he was coming home. I couldn't have prayed harder for a better reaction.
So, now to the pictures. Obviously Matt was able to overcome his intense feelings of awkwardness and asked another mom to take their picture. Then as he was describing to me all the photos he took of Connor (I tell you friends, I am full on nuts) he says, "And you know what Melissa? After a while, I was looking around and saw a bunch of moms taking pictures of their kids by themselves and I started to feel bad that they weren't able to be in a picture with their kids so I just started offering to take everyone's pictures." Um, what? Excuse me, but who in blazes are you? My painfully shy husband, for some reason, became the class photographer. I couldn't believe it, so I then had to ask him if he also signed himself up to be room mom. I know I give him a hard time, but he really did a great job and no one had to drag him out after he collapsed into a sobbing heap on the floor which is undoubtedly what would have happened if I had been there. It was really a great morning for the two of them.
After Matt called and gave me the run down, I tried so hard not to obsessively check his class schedule (which I made four copies of), but I couldn't help it. I had to know if he was in Math Centers or chapel or if it was time for a "gathering" (whatever the crap that is). Finally at 3:00, my Memommy dropped him off and he was so excited to tell me everything about his day. He had a giant sticker on his shirt that said "I did my best today!" Now, I'm sure they gave one to every kid, but I like to think my child really earned his (oh I am so annoying). After he answered a million questions and told me just as many stories, including the most detailed description of what he observed out of the upstairs bathroom window that leads me to believe he spent at least an hour in the bathroom, I finally asked him, "So did you make any new friends today?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Mom, not today! I was too busy learning!"
That's my boy :)