Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Day of First Grade

Last night I set Madeleine's alarm clock for 7 a.m. and laid out her school clothes thinking that would leave me with plenty of time to get myself dressed and ready before the kids got up. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans...

6:40 a.m. I'm still in my pajamas but I'm up and moving. Slowly. I hear Madeleine in her bedroom declare in a sing-song voice aloft from her top bunk, "Good morning, Hank! Today is the first day of school. Not for you, but for me! Isn't that exciting?!" Hank grumbles. No sing-song excitement out of that boy, not this morning.

7:30 a.m. We're all dressed and ready. The kids have their cereal in front of them. Madeleine eats half a bowl in the time it takes Hank to eat a whole bowl and ask for more. He finishes hers.

7:45 a.m. We're outside. It's chilly and gloomy. Madeleine protests my plan of taking pictures outside saying it's not beautiful because the sun isn't out. I explain that if we take them outside we'll be able to remember that it was overcast on her first day of first grade. She's not impressed with the logic, but consents.

The pictures are, for the most part, awful. Madeleine doesn’t want to pay attention or hold still. The neighborhood is swarming with kids and Madeleine would rather be with them than with me. Her attention is waning and the pictures suffer.

8:06 a.m. We’re at school. Madeleine lines up in the back of the school now, just off the playground, where the Big Kids line up. I’m able to catch up with moms I haven’t seen since last June. It feels like forever, but of course it hasn’t been. I’m both impressed and dismayed at the number of moms crying. I’m surprised that I’ve been able to hold my tears in.

Madeleine proclaims she’s not nervous. But her hand wringing and posture suggest otherwise.

8:15 a.m. The bell rings. The six first grade teachers make their appearances. Ms. K greets each of her students individually. Madeleine is fourth in line, maybe fifth. I confirm with Ms. K the pick-up location and time. Madeleine is glancing around for kids she knows. To a stranger she looks calm. I can tell she’s confident, but a bit apprehensive as well.

She likes Ms. K’s dress. Clothes are important to Madeleine so this is a good sign.

8:20 a.m. Off they go! Madeleine trudges up the stairs, dwarfed by her too-large, pink, Land’s End backpack.

2:32 p.m. I sit here and write my blog wondering what Madeleine has been doing since I left her. Did she get enough to eat? Does she like Ms. K? Is she happy? Nervous? What did she play at recess? Did she have gym? Art?

This is Madeleine’s first year at school going all day long. I predict the adjustment will be harder for me than for her.


dad said...

dear madeleine,

someday you will thank your mother for this diary of your first day of first grade, 2006. i thank her on your behalf. please add to the diary by reminiscing about teacher, classmates, recess, lunch, the walk to and from cumberland. AND MORE. love, grandfather

JoeOlson said...

It was a pretty cool morning. Madeleine was very excited and I think Supermom was more nervous than M was.

Fabulous Chaos said...

Isn't it a crazy experience? *sniff, sniff* ...our little girls!!!

sixty-five said...

Yikes! I leave for ten days and what happens? Supermom turns into a nonstop blogging machine. Fantastic!