So he's there. Right now. At kindergarten. And we both did fine. No tears or anything. In fact, at one point this morning, he actually gave me a huge grin and a thumbs up-- wish I'd had my camera poised to snap that photo.
I think I'm still a little stunned that Casey started kindergarten today. I mean, of course I knew it was coming. And he's definitely ready. But the kids at elementary school all just seem so . . . old. And tall. Really tall. And white. I don't have anything against white people, of course-- seeing as how I'm white, I suppose that's a good thing. But what struck me about his class is how white it is. There is one little girl who is Indian. And a child who may be Persian. And Casey, of course. And that's it. Three out of twenty. And I suppose I could be wrong-- but today was parent orientation and all the parents were there with their kids, so I don't think I am. Why does it matter? Oh I suppose it doesn't, really. I was just struck by it. When we selected our preschool, it was one of the things we considered-- so our kids would feel readily included, I guess.
Anyway, Casey was up at 5:30 this morning, ready to get ready. I was also up at 5:30 this morning. Working. He seemed much more calm by the time we got to school. And two of the kids in his class are from his preschool, so that was a plus. When we arrived, the teacher gave us a "scavenger hunt," which was a list of activities to do together. First we found the "I Can Write My Name" chart, where Casey wrote his name. Then we found the sink where he washed his hands, and the trashcan, where he tossed the paper towel. Next we went to the I Spy board, where Casey located three items and met a boy named Jason. Then Casey found some scissors and cut along a dotted line for practice. And finally we sat down and read "Yo! Yes!" together on the carpet.
When class started, his teacher had the children select a letter to sit on based on their group's color. Casey is in the blue group, which sits in the second row. She taught the kids a welcome/ good morning song, then they had to sit "criss cross apple sauce" for Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten. Casey was a little wiggly, but not too bad. And I don't blame him. I can't even sit cross-legged for five minutes, let alone a whole story. Then the teacher gave us parents a bunch of information. The kids did some stretching, and then she read The Kissing Hand. One by one, each child came to us and we exchanged "kissing hands." With my kiss on Casey's hand, the idea is that he can hold it to his face any time he wants, and my kiss will be right there, holding him. After that, we said our good byes.
As you can see from these pictures, Casey had no trouble being his usual, playful self.
Tuesdays are half days, so I'll be going back around noon to pick him up and walk him over to his new after school care program (ESS).
And that's it.
Here he is, walking out of school. He didn't come running into my arms, as I envisioned he would. I was, of course, the only parent in the hallway. Not because I was trying to break the rules, but because I was trying to figure out the logistics of the after-school care program. Casey was irritated I wasn't taking him with me. But he seemed fine by the time Jason picked him up later.
The rest of the evening was as you might expect. Not filled with laughter of a kindergartner recounting all the fun he had at school. Because, of course, he's just not that articulate. Instead, he whined all through dinner, requested seconds, and then threw a fit because there was no ice cream. By 7:30 p.m. I was ready for bed. So to bed we all went. I'm not sure how long it took Casey to fall asleep because I laid down with him for just a minute and woke up two hours later.
It's easy to forget how exhausting emotional days can be.