Today was Ryanna's first day of Kindergarten. Yesterday we painted her toenails and talked about what outfit she wanted to wear and how she wanted to do her hair for today. She decided she wanted purple toenails, braids in her hair and a bright yellow and orange outfit that her grandparents gave her. After weeks and weeks of her telling me how excited she was for school to start, she seemed pretty nonchalant about school starting tomorrow.
Today, when Derek's alarm clock went off, I couldn't sleep. I had to get up and get going, so that I would make sure and get her to school on time. I definitely didn't want her to be late for her first day. Derek gave her a Father's blessing after they discussed whether she would like one. I found the whole experience nearly brought me to tears.
Ryanna had some toast with jam and brushed her teeth (before putting on her clothes since she seems to struggle with not getting the toothpaste on her shirt) and I did her hair. We hurriedly packed all the items she would need to contribute to the class (everything is shared, nothing is individually owned), put Owen's shoes on, loaded up the stroller and drove the block and a half to her school (it's already over 90 degrees outside and I knew I would be rushing, so driving was the better option).
When we got near the school, I was shocked to see all the cars. Parents and kids everywhere! We parked, loaded everything into the stroller and speedwalked over to meet her teacher for the first time. I certainly wasn't alone in the amount of parents who wanted to be right by the side of their newly adapting children. After the kids got in line, the teacher told them to blow us all a kiss because Kindergarten was so hard for parents. She was right. I was already tearing up and Ryanna will only be gone for three hours each day.
I can't seem to explain very well how emotional this morning has been for me. Here is my daughter, who has spent everyday of the first five years of her life with me and now I send her to school knowing that I'll never again get her all to myself. It's difficult for me because I love her so dearly and I want her to be safe and well-cared for. I know other kids can be mean, that she may be misunderstood, that she might experience situations that test her in every way and it's hard to know that I won't be by her side to help her. It's hard to know that her dad and I won't be the only adults whose opinion she values--her teacher will hopefully be a great friend and example to her.
It must be a bit how God feels as He sends us down to Earth. He knows that He loves us so dearly, but that he won't be able to be physically there by our side helping us to do what's right and protecting us from bad decisions--made by us and inflicted on us by others.
On the other side of this coin, I'm so excited for her to learn. She loves to do all the activities I know Kindergarten will provide and I'm excited for her. What a fun, scary and exciting day for BOTH of us.