Monday, August 30, 2010

School begins…

Part 3

About three weeks ago, my two middle children – Andre and Amareah – went back to school, and I shared that with you in Part 1. Amareah excitedly began kindergarten and Andre went on to first grade. About two weeks ago – remember Part 2? – Amber went back to campus to begin her second year of college. Now it’s time to share how the baby of the family started head start this past Friday.

Although it was a momentous occasion, it wasn’t as tearful and “oh-where-did-my-baby-go” as one would think. Anna has been going to daycare for about two years so being without her during the day has become somewhat normal. That and the fact that mommy forgot that Friday was the first day of head start.

I know, I know: Bad mommy.

The momentousness of the day was overshadowed by mommy’s lack of brain cells. More than a month ago the center director called to ask me if I had received the letter saying Anna had gotten into head start. Well, I had assumed she did because two siblings before her had went. I hadn’t received it and she told me that the first day of school would be the 27th. She thinks. Yup, she said, “I think.”

She said the letter would come in the mail and I could verify the date on that. Well, the “letter,” which was actually a flyer said that the 27th was Parent Orientation from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. In my scramble to ensure the other children arrived at school on time, completed their homework and went to bed on time it slipped my mind that the two dates – Parent Orientation and the first day – were actually the same dates.

As Anna and I drove to Parent Orientation I explained to her that she wouldn’t be there all day and that she’d meet her teacher and see her classroom. When we arrived I walked in the door and stared at the group of parents sitting in the meeting area sans children. All of a sudden the realization set in. This…must…be…the…first…day, my brain started to kick in.

Instead of jumping into action I raised my coffee cup to my lips. Slowly.

DSCF5139 I’ll leave out all the embarrassing gory details and tell you that Anna was such a trooper. I kissed her and told her I was going to a meeting, but I’d be back. I went to the meeting and found out they were doing bus evacuation practice for the parents and children afterward, and as the parent chairperson (a new one hasn’t been appointed yet) for the past two years I was expected to stay.

I visited Amareah’s old teachers then strolled into Anna’s classroom. The look on her face was one of awe at everything going on around her. She was slowly eating a snack and staring as the assistant teacher loudly instructed them what to do above the constant din of about 20 3-year-old voices.

There was only mild tearing most of the morning except when she thought that getting on the bus meant she was going to leave and go somewhere without her mommy. She was promptly told (‘cause she couldn’t see over the seat) that I was right there.

DSCF5137After the bus evacuation practice they went to the playground and I took that moment to say, “Bye, have fun at the playground. I’ll see you in a little while, okay?”

Happy nods and off she trotted. She even happily went to school today without any tearing during the day and the biggest prettiest smile I’ve ever seen when I picked her up. Even though I was more than an hour and a half late. Well, that’s a story for another day.

Just enjoy the pictures and forget I said anything about that. :-D (I’ll also leave out the part about forgetting I had the camera in my purse and forgetting to take pictures until I saw another parent with a camera!) Oh, and pray for me and my mommy brain.

DSCF5140Notice the suspicious look on Anna’s face. She’s eyeing the school bus. The boy behind Anna holding the teacher’s hand cried the.entire.day.

DSCF5151

As I look closely at the above picture, Anna looks a little terrified. This is right before they got on the school bus for the practice evacuation.

DSCF5146She’d heard my voice on the bus, but she hadn’t seen my face yet. This is her first glimpse of me on the bus as she excitedly waved and told me that she did her seatbelt by herself.

DSCF5149I’m not exactly sure what this look is (LOL!) I think it’s when they started rushing off the bus as they were being timed. Whatever she was thinking or saying doesn’t matter ‘cause this expression is priceless.

DSCF5150You can see the back of her little head as she gets assistance from one of the staff members as she gets off the bus.