Thursday, September 10, 2009

The First Day

So yesterday was the big day. Kindergarten. Were we ready? You be the judge. My son went to school wearing:

Brand-new backpack and matching lunchbox, chock full of aliens.

A customized luggage tag (thanks, Shutterfly for prompt delivery) featuring our family photo, hanging from said backpack.

New (and ridiculously expensive) mini Sigg bottle which promises never to leak or break and to keep water icy-cold. My son likes icy-cold acqua.

A T-shirt which my sister and I made for him the night before, spelling “I LOVE SPOOKS” in iron-on decals.

His beloved collection of Garbage Pail Kids.

His beloved collection of monster maniac action figures.


a gold chain with the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus on it.

In the preceding weeks, we read every single "Going to Kindergarten" book out there. We got a Sandra Boynton calendar and X’ed off the days leading up to “FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!” We sneaked into the building the day before school started and took a peek around before the parent coordinator kicked us out. But not before we saw a photo of his new Kindergarten teacher on the wall -- Ms. Rhonda Finn

“Oh I like her,” I said, “She has a nice smile.”

“Yeah,” said Primo, “She has a nice smile and a thin face. She looks like a corn husk doll.”

I did all the prep work that can be done. And then some.

And yesterday, when we walked him to school, he was happy. Or at least, trying hard to be, Telling everyone he passed that he was going to his first day of kindergarten, singing an “I’m so happy to go to Kindergarten” song. When we approached the school and saw the throngs, the veritable masses assembled at the gates, I grew tachycardic but we soldiered on, smiling and singing.

It was no nursery school drop-off, that’s for sure. There were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people making their way into the school – moms, dad, babysitters, kids, babies along for the ride, everyone scrambling to get through the doors and find their rooms and get their bearings. I think David had a small and silent panic attack. But we made it into the building, up the stairs, to the room. We shook hands with thin-faced, nice-smiling Rhonda Finn. We “explored the classroom,” bumping into the dozens of other kids and families who were also adventuring through the dress-up corner and book collection. We located Primo’s nametag and settled him into his assigned seat at table number 5. And then, with a kiss and some fortifying eye contact, we said goodbye.

When I went to pick him up a few hours later, there he was, head on his desk, looking tired, but brave. He made it. We made it.

And so the school daze begins.