Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm not old enough to have a kindergartener

Well, I can't hide from it any more. Matthew is officially a "big kid" and started kindergarten today. I must say I did a pretty great job of avoiding the topic all summer long. The first day of school seemed so far in the distant future, I just kept it there. I thought this was a great plan, until I started realizing things like "I'm not exactly sure what time I need to leave the house to get to school on time. And I might actually need to start setting an alarm to get everyone ready. Are Matthew's uniforms ready? No?" So then I was forced to face the facts and start preparing all of us for kindergarten. This looked a lot like me again pretending it wasn't happening so I wouldn't cry and having conversations with Matthew about how great his year was going to be and how exciting it was to go to kindergarten (which obviously were way more for my benefit than his). He picked out his new Hot Wheels back pack and lunch box that lights up and is super cool, we got all of his school supplies ready, I finally sewed those patches on his uniform shirts, and we finished all the items on our summer bucket list. Then on Saturday I couldn't avoid it any longer - Rowlett Parent University and Open House arrived.

Now I'm assuming most if not all of the people who read this blog know that I have the super awesome and unique situation of sending my son to the school where my dad is the principal. And not only that, but Rowlett Academy is literally the best public school in the county. You might think I'm a little biased, and maybe that's true, but hundreds of other parents share the same sentiment. Oh, did I mention that his kindergarten teacher is absolutely amazing? She is. I've known her since I was about 8 years old, and grew up playing with her kids at school functions that my parents were attending. We both admit that it is a little strange that I'm old enough to have a child in her class (last I checked I was still 27, where did the last 6 years go?) but I am so blessed to have such a loving, nurturing, funny, amazing person taking care of my little amazing person every day when I'm not with him.

So, we went to Rowlett University on Saturday morning. Brian and I went to two workshops together and learned about how the brain works and everything to expect about our year in kindergarten. Then Brian drove back to get Matthew during the third session so that he could eat lunch with us. Matthew was pumped to not only ride in Daddy's jeep, but also to see Daideo and to have both parents all to himself. We enjoyed a delicious lunch from Olive Garden before retrieving all of Matthew's school supplies and his first homework assignment from the car. (Mrs. Bolno sent him a letter and asked him to draw his favorite farm animal. Of course he had it done early, so we brought it with us.)

Then it was off to his new classroom. If you know Matthew you know that he is a little shy and timid when he feels overwhelmed. The classroom was pretty crowded with students and parents, so we just let him take his time and explore. He found magnifying glasses and some super cool rocks to look at so he did that for a while. Then Mrs. Bolno came over and he showed her his drawing of a goat. One of the things I love about her is how special she makes every kids feel. As soon as she saw it she told him how awesome it was and insisted that they go out to the bulletin board and find a spot to hang it right away. Matthew played shy, but I could tell he was bursting with pride on the inside. They found just the right spot, stood back to examine it like real artists, and headed back in the room. At this point Matthew discovered the box of legos, so while he was busy with that I unloaded his school supplies. We let him play a little longer, and then headed home. He was happy, we were happy.

So all of a sudden here comes Monday morning! The night before we laid out Matthew's clothes, got his backpack and lunch ready, and headed to bed early. I thought I would have to wake him up this morning, but when I got back from my run he was already awake. I guess he was excited! We actually managed to get everyone ready and in the car on time, and then took our traditional first day pictures.

When we got to Matthew's class he went to his seat, and Lily sat right down next to him like she was in kindergarten too. Mrs. Bolno came over and gave Matthew a hug, then showed him where to put his lunch and snack and where to keep his backpack. He seemed pretty comfortable so we took a quick picture and then left. Miraculously I didn't cry! I kept myself pretty busy all day because I was pretty sure that as soon as I sat down to think I would lose it. Surprisingly it didn't seem all that long before it was time to pick Matthew up again. Daideo walked him out and I got a huge hug and a smile!

I didn't want to overwhelm him with too many questions since I knew he'd be tired, so I just asked him if he had fun and he said he did. Then he said that he did have one bad thing happen. He got a bloody nose. Poor kid! A nosebleed on the first day of school! Thankfully I had given his teacher a heads up about his frequent nosebleeds and had prepped him on what to do if he got one at school. He told me that he was brave and didn't cry at all, and that he made a new friend who walked him to the clinic. He doesn't remember his friend's name or what he looks like, but he was excited that God answered his prayer to make new friends already! And he and his friend have planned to both wear red shirts tomorrow. Good thing I bought two red ones! The other things that I got out of him today were that he saw Daideo on the announcements, at lunch, and in his classroom. He told me how Daideo taught everyone how to do the pinky wave. I asked him if he was supposed to call him Daideo or Mr. Flynn and he said "Mr. Flynn. Well, actually I'm not sure." He of course liked recess the best, and told me that he only got to go on the swings, because when he was going to "the other thing" Mrs. Bolno said it was time to line up. I was glad that he went and lined up right away! He sat with his friend Jacob at lunch, he learned some Spanish, he met all the specials teachers, and was excited that the P.E. teacher was a man.

After school we celebrated with some frozen yogurt at Menchie's with Jacob, of course went swimming, and then went to dinner at Hungry Howie's. Then it was time to institute early bed time! I loved just spending time snuggling with Matthew. My favorite was what he wanted to pray for tonight. He wanted to pray that he would stay on green forever, that he would listen to Mrs. Bolno, and that he wouldn't get any more nosebleeds. How I love that little boy!

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