The day after Skyler was born, I was lying in the hospital bed holding her, all bundled up in a white fleece sleeper, while Sam was taking a load of our stuff down to the car.
I had the radio on, and this song was playing. I started to cry, and when one of the nurses came in and asked me what was wrong, I said that I was listening to this song and imagining my baby going to Kindergarten. If you want the full effect of this post, you can play the song while you read.
Yes, Skyler has gone to school for two years, but tomorrow she starts Kindergarten at the big public school, and it feels really different. There are hundreds of kids, a big playground, a cafeteria, a gym. All of her good friends ended up with a different teacher, so she knows that she is going to have to be a big, brave girl tomorrow. I'm really excited for her, but accounting for the fact that she has gotten more sensitive about goodbyes over the past year, and that she does not easily separate from me, tomorrow might be a bit rough.
She's 5, almost 6. She's brave and sassy, and scared and shy. She's right on the cusp of big-kid, illustrated by the thoughtful and articulate conversations we have. And yet, she still carries around a stuffed animal and cries when I leave her at bedtime.
Tonight we went to the Kindergarten orientation and the all-school barbecue.
and to her best friend Ella.
Part of the program involved the kids going for a practice bus ride and Suzanne and I were so proud that our girls got right in line together. But does this photo just not say it all? Skyler's back still fresh with summer's tan lines, Ella looking back for one more quick connection to her mom.
Next we were invited to walk to the classrooms to meet their teachers. I hadn't met her teacher and hadn't heard much about her before tonight, so I was nervous. All that I wanted was for the following scene to occur: When Skyler met her new teacher, I wanted that teacher to get down on her level, look her warmly in the eye, and to say hello in a voice that was both gentle and energetic. I knew that if the intro went well, we'd have a better chance at a good first day.
When we walked in, I actually and literally had my fingers crossed. Skyler was the second one in the room. It was bright, cheerful, organized, and full of books and great stuff. Skyler walked up to her teacher and I held my breath.
She put her hands on her knees, bent down low to make eye contact with Skyler, and asked her name: "Skyler! What a beautiful name! It is so nice to meet you! I can't wait for tomorrow, can you?" Skyler's eyes sparkled. Yes. I wiped my tears while Skyler checked out her name tag neatly placed on one of the tables.
Backpack is packed, lunch packed, pencil box organized, outfit laid out. Good grief: I've been so emotional this week, I was even convinced to buy the princess sandwich container.
And if all this isn't enough to undo me, look what her teacher gave all the parents tonight.
Tomorrow I'll be armed with my camera and some tissues, and because I'll be doing this next to Sandi and Suzanne, I know I won't be the only weepy one in the parking lot. Wish us luck!