Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our First Day of School

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.


Brooke said...

I can't believe it's all ready that time of the year! I know that I will be one of those moms that goes home in tears, Isaac's first day of school. I still have two years to work up to it :)

I have the same mixed emotions you have. Very well put!

Cuddlydoll said...

What an milestone. Congrats to you both and I hope she has a wonderful year!


Lara said...

I still can't get over how early school starts down there!

I totally bawled when I took Bria for the first time, and when I told Joel, he thought I was silly.

But THEN he came with me to take her a week later, and he was the one crying. You just can't be prepared for the emotions.

I'm sure I'll cry in a few weeks when I take Chloe for her first day, too. Crazy.

Ryanna looks adorable! A big kindergartener....I can't even believe it!

Heather said...

I'll be there in year! I was getting emotional thinking about it and reading your experience. I hope you hang in there today.

Melissa said...

Your post made me cry! I've been feeling the exact same way. Why do they have to grow up? Jacob starts on the 4th! I hope she had a good day!

Lacey said...

I'm having a hard enough time putting Elodie in Preschool!

Sounds like your holding up okay, I tried to call you before I read your post....

Ryanna looks so cute and grown up! It's crazy how fast time flies!!

It's sad to watch out kids grow up but exciting to start a new chapter with them! Hopefully she has a great school year!

JenW said...

oh man...i'm going to be a wreck that day...good job holding together...she's going to be fine. she's a great girl...good job on the first day!

Julie said...

This post made me tear up... that is exactly how I felt when I sent my baby off to kindergarten. He is now nine and seems to be surviving and thriving in the land of elementary school, but you are so right. You never again have that sweet toddler who was by your side every minute of every day for five years. I really loved your comparison with how our Heavenly Father feels sending us to earth. So very true.

P.S. I told you about my bathroom paint on my blog. Good luck with yours!

DKAZ said...

AUDREY!I've been trying to live in my state of denial for as long as possible and then you write this little ditty up. I keep thinking, am I going to break down right there as she waves goodbye or will I just cry all the way home. I remember my own mother crying as she sent me off to school. What a silly lady I thought...however, now I TOTALLY get it! It's crazy how fast time has flown and as much as I've looked forward to it for Quinn's sake and my sanity I know I'm going to have a very hard time!

Sabina said...

I got onto your blog specifically to see if you had posted something about Ryanna's first day. Thanks for taking the time to share. I remember this being a very big milestone for me. How did Ryanna do? I dropped Breck off many a day and watched her go crying into the school. That didn't help. It really made me realize that I can no longer guide my children through every decision. I could only hope that I had taught them well enough and helped them develop the skills that would aid them in being successful on their own. Good luck! We sure enjoyed see you guys. My kids had such a ball. Thanks for making the efforts to come up.

wackywilsons said...

I know we all feel the same way with our own kids, but it doesn't make it any easier! Wes starts next year and I already am feeling homesick for him....

Only three hours a day? Is it a 1/2 day program?

I enjoyed reading about all your prep, what a good mama!

Lauren and Trevor said...

Ryanna looks so cute in her pictures for her first day of school (and Owen's hair looks so blond!) I loved reading about how you felt on her first day. I am sure that must be very bittersweet. I think I am in trouble because I feel that way when Bryce goes to nursery!
We are excited to hear how she is liking it.

JLJ said...

Not looking forward to this fateful day on August 4. Now what I need is reassurance. Tell me she wasn't eaten by wolves, that she came home happy, that she was still sweet and not totally into Hannah Montana. Curse you school!