Monday, March 19, 2007

Day One: Adult Status Still in Question

While I cannot say for sure whether I have become a grownup or not, I certainly felt the weight of my importance to my daughter as she said goodbye and hugged me tightly for the eleventh time this morning. I didn't cry. I was distracted by being slightly miffed that the drop off situation was not as explained that it would be. We got there and there weren't children and teachers in the yard by the circle. So I asked a mom who drove up behind me. Her son was sweet enough to walk us to the gym where early goers are asked to wait. That's right, early goers. But I didn't see her teacher. Or really any teachers. Call me sentimental. Call me anal. Call me just plain crazy, but I didn't feel comfy cozy about leaving my five year old who had never been to school at all, let alone this particular school, alone in a big gymnasium where she knew no one and hoping she'd just figure things out. Imagine! A man sitting in a chair, who turned out to be a parent waiting for his bus for work, recognized me as a confused parent and offered his assistance to help find Amabel's classroom. I think I have said that the only drawback to my OB in the end was that she'd never had a baby herself. So far I might say that the only possible drawback to this school, the only red flag that goes up, is that neither her teacher nor the headmaster have children themselves. This is common enough, I'm sure. And maybe it won't come into play much. I'm sure they have plenty of experience. But it seems a parent would realize this kind of thing would be very scary for a child. A first day is scary enough without just being left. We saw the headmaster on our search for the classroom and she said to drop off Amabel back at the gym. The very adult thing I did was insist on not leaving her without some sort of guardianship on her first day. I mean, for ridiculously insecure me, that was big! But I just knew Amabel was counting on me. So she reluctantly walked Amabel and I the rest of the way to the classroom and her teacher seemed to understand my concerns and said Amabel could stay with her until she went to pick the class up. Hereafter I will have no problem with the gym setup, but for the first day I just thought she needed some extra security.

I had a lot of first days because we moved so much growing up. If I remember right, my mom always took me late- maybe so that there wouldn't be this milling around and waiting alone confusion. Of all the days to be on time! But punctuality is important to Amabel and I am thinking it would have been just as scary for her to be late. With that in mind, I think we were fourth in the pick up line after school. And she did great. One of my biggest concerns was that the day would be too long. All day I just kept thinking she must be exhausted. I could not believe how much I was getting done in just one day! And I knew if I felt like the day was never ending, she must feel it even more so. And she is the child who cried every day about Vacation Bible School because it "takes too long" from nine to twelve thirty. In my mind eight to three was going to be brutal. But she said it wasn't too long.

She seemed to really enjoy it all around and is looking forward to tomorrow. I think that in spite of her day going well and fast, we are all beat. I doubt I'll make it past nine tonight before I'm in bed. I wish I were already there. But while we still aren't sure how much of an adult I'll turn out to be in the end, I did some very adult things today. The biggest of which was letting my daughter take a tiny step toward her own adulthood (so what if it's years away; it's closer now!) And if ever there were time to indulge in an adult beverage, I believe it is now.


Rick Edema said...

I almost started to cry while reading your post. It just isn't fair that Amabel is growing up! She needs to be the adorable, little girl I have etched in my mind forever and ever. I am glad when you write about the kids and what is happening in their everyday lives. It keeps me connected, just a little bit, but that little bit is enough. Thanks for writing. I hope to see you soon.

Renae said...

Just chatted with you on the phone, and wanted to say hi on-line, too. Since I found you, it's only fair to let you know where to find me, right?


Matt Adair said...

Good for you on making the headmaster walk you to the teacher! I don't think you were being insecure at all--just sensitive to the needs of your child. Amen on OBs, teachers, headmasters, etc. without kids. They just don't KNOW until they've been there.
Anyway, it is so hard to watch babies grow up!! Jonathan is starting 2 day preschool in the fall, and it already makes my stomach hurt to think about it, even though I know he will love it and want him to have that experience. I know I'll need an adult beverage too!
Lindsey Adair :-)

lauren said...

yea for amabel! i'm so glad she had a great day. i bawled on the first day of ellie's K4. we have a carpool in the morning where she walks in by herself...with lots of parent volunteers and teachers to help), but still it's not the same if she's not holding my hand all the way to her classroom. so hard, but good for both of us.

rhb said...

I'm so glad that Amabel had a good first day at school! I was praying for her! Give her a big hug from us!

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