Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Official Day of Kindergarten

Today was the day. I mentioned that I took the boys to Cody's Kindergarten Open House yesterday morning, but that was not a big deal. I knew he would start officially today, and he was not worried about it. He was excited. It helps tremendously that he knows the teacher, the students and even the actual classroom. He also knows the routine. This is going to sound a bit crazy, but the only thing making it seem a bit less real to me was that there was a bit of a mix-up with the school bus arrangements. For some reason, Cody got overlooked. This has been stressing me out for a while, as I have been wondering when they would call, and whether the bus driver would be able to find our driveway because it is so hidden.

I called the division yesterday morning and spoke to the guy in charge. He confirmed that we had been overlooked and then gave me the name of our bus driver. He told me he'd have her call me. But I had to go to town. (Incidentally, I survived my trip and it was mostly uneventful, though extremely busy, and I got several sympathetic smiles and even a laugh or two in the check-out line with my three monkeys.) So, sure enough, I missed her call. I called her back as soon as I got home, but of course, she was driving the bus at that time. No worries. I figured I would just drive Cody myself today and then figure out the bus thing next week.

The bus driver called at 7:15 p.m. It was only then that I realized that deep inside I was relieved that he would not be taking the bus today. Somehow, that made it an easier transition. For me, of course. Cody is brave and amazing, but apparently I am not. So, we worked out the details and arranged for her to pick him up this morning, on his first day of school. I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was I really sending my little boy out on the bus all by himself? He is only five. It felt so foreign. I don't know the bus driver, though she is incredibly nice and I'm happy she is not gruff or cold.

So, I got up before 7 a.m. this morning for the first time in quite a while. (That is not to say that we are not woken up frequently before 7 a.m. but we do our best to ignore all the sleep interruptions and stay in bed a while longer.) Micah and Jamie did not wake up, and for that I was very thankful. I already had Cody's stuff all packed in his backpack, so we got him eating and then we invited Radar in so we could put on his collar. Radar hates his collar, so the only way to put it on is in the house. Had this day occurred two weeks ago, I would have just locked him in his crate and went without him. However, last week we found out about a bear sighting right by our driveway so I was wary of going there so early in the morning. Oh right, did I mention he gets picked up at 7:35 a.m.? Quite early, but he starts school at 8:20 a.m. Yikes.

So, after Radar totally spazzed out on us, we sent him outside in his collar. Then when the time came to leave, I went out to put the leash on him. He was gone. Nowhere. My useless German Shepherd (cross) who looks so big and scary and barks at any animal that invades our property hid like a little girl and I couldn't even find a sign of him. I was disgusted. So, Cody and I walked down the lane in the trees by ourselves. (Fortunately, his brothers were still sleeping.) I took a cell phone in my back pocket incase I had to call someone for help because of a bear attack. Haha. Silly, but I did. I was going to carry a golf club too in case I needed a weapon, but I was also carrying my camera, so I didn't want to take anything else.

I needn't have worried. There was no bear waiting at the end of our driveway, and realistically, if one was coming we would hear it because we are surrounded by trees and bears in the bush are very loud.

So, we waited together in the cool, still morning, and eventually, the bus came. Here are my pictures of my little boy, who is not so little anymore.

He was the first one on the bus, which was very exciting for him. Somewhere down the line, one of his friends from his class last year will be getting on and the bus driver may arrange for him to sit with her. She is in grade one, but she was in Sr K when he was in Jr K. He is really excited about sitting with her. 

So I walked back up the lane myself, teary eyed, and more worried about my little boy slipping a little further out of the nest than I was about a bear attack. Radar, the coward, emerged out of somewhere with much coaxing when I got back. I don't even know where he was hiding. Useless guard dog. 

Now, I will spend the day feeling as though I have gone back in time. Now I have two boys, both young, and nobody here using words I can't even pronounce, holding up his end of the conversation with no problem at all. The atmosphere is different. Will it be easier? I honestly don't know. Maybe in a way, and in a way it won't be. I'm sure I will adjust and things will feel normal again soon. But today I am feeling mixed emotions. Sad, knowing that time will fly by from here on, and one day I will watch this same little boy graduate high school and wonder where the years went. Proud of my big boy and his courage and his eternal optimism. And glad for the time I have had with him at home, as well as his brothers. Now to maximize that time and not take it for granted. I know I get stressed out and more than a little frazzled at times, but in case I don't say it enough, I love my three boys more than life itself and I will always be incredibly grateful that I was able to stay home with them, even if only for a few years. 

Time to tackle the dishes. I'm off for now.

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