Today was the big day. A milestone...for Brian and his Mommy and this family. Today was Brian's first day of school.
First, the details...
After a great breakfast of a mushroom and cheese omelet, pancakes, oranges and milk...Brian let me snap a few photos of him. Most of the day he was in constant motion, so forgive the blurry shots!
We arrived at school and immediately saw his two teachers...Miss Laura and Miss Morgan! They were very excited to see Brian!
We brought some presents for the classroom - books and CDs - and Brian made a card for them which he handed to Miss Laura.
Brian sat and watched his new classmates in the drop off area - chatting with each other and the teachers. Soon they made their way over to him and started introducing themselves and asking him questions.
He was a little shy...
When the clock hit 9am, it was time to form a line and walk back to the classroom. Miss Laura had given me permission to walk him back on the first day - but once I was there, I changed my mind. I told Brian it was time to go with his teacher...he took her hand and the hand of a very sweet and motherly classmate and he walked away from me...
At home, I barely knew how to contain myself. Miss Sara and I put Gavin in his walker for some practice and I made some phone calls...but my eyes were on the clock. I had a few messages from some spies at the school...Miss Maggie and Miss Janna have offices there! Miss Maggie saw Brian in the gym playing catch with a new friend and said he had the biggest smile on his face. And Miss Janna walked by the classroom and saw him sitting in a little chair for snack time. I was SO grateful for some insider information!!
When it came time to pick him up, I walked back to the classroom and stood outside in the hallway. The kids walk holding onto connected rings - each ring is a little animal. They couldn't have known that I have called Brian "monkey" since before he was born...or that Monkeys are all over his room...but that's the ring that they chose for him to hold! Soon it was time for them to walk out of the classroom...and there was my son.
I took an adorable video of him walking along and trying to contain a huge grin as he saw me. He was staring into my eyes - smiling and so happy - as he walked along following the leader. I would love to post it, but I want to protect the privacy of his adorable classmates whose parents likely don't lead this public life that I've chosen. So you'll have to trust me - it would make you cry.
Brian and I sat in the pick up/drop off area and said goodbye to his new friends and took a break so we could chat. And boy, did he have a lot to say. I could tell that he had the time of his life.
After seeing the kids onto their buses and parents' cars, Miss Laura and Miss Morgan came back in. I asked them if I could walk back to see Brian's classroom and take some pictures and they were so sweet about it. The room is adorable with different stations for activities. A snack table, a sand table...
a circle time area...a reading area...
...and a dramatic play area that changes each month. When Brian and I went to visit a few months ago, this area was a kitchen/supermarket set up. This month it's a "Bear Cave" - which is even more adorable in person than this photo would lead you to believe!!
Miss Morgan had Brian help him tape up our family photo with all the other children's family photos before we said goodbye. Brian was sad to leave...I think he's already in love with his friendly teachers.
It was definitely a successful first day.
When we got home, Gavin and Miss Sara were excited to see Brian and hear about his day! In probably the sweetest gesture of 2012 so far, Miss Sara baked "Angry Bird Cupcakes" to celebrate Brian's big day. Let's all take a moment to say - "Awwww!!!!" She even gave him a card that will for sure go into his memory box.
While today was a lot about a new backpack and meeting his teachers and classmates and tiny little seats and a new cubby for his coat...it was really about so much more. Maybe you're wondering how I did today. The answer...it may surprise you.
The short answer is - I was fine! Not a tear...not a second of anxiety. The emotion that came over me was pride. In that two minutes of time that Brian took his teachers hand and walked away - I felt like a lifetime flashed in front of me. His...and mine. He didn't look back as he walked away - and I was so glad.
I thought of all the living I've done in 42 years - how much time I wasted looking back. Looking over my shoulder. Living in the past and letting it control my present - my future. I don't want that for my children. I want them to always walk tall and confidently. I want them to know that they will have tough times...even tragedies...but to look back is pointless. The finish line is always in front of you. Always.
I realized that this was the start of a long stretch of education for him that won't end until he's a grown man. And that he'll now be having experiences that aren't shared with me. As Brian walked away, I found myself talking to my Dad. My Dad was always such a big part of my schooling. I asked him to be with Brian when he's not with me.
I'm so proud of Brian. The report from his teachers was that he had an "amazing first day." He was sweet and happy and obedient. With each day that we go back to school, I imagine his confidence will swell as big as my pride for him. He'll be talking in no time...and won't look back.