Breathe in and out. In and out. Let the paper bag slowly control your breathing and make you calm...
It happened. The first day of school.
The backpack was purchased, along with the obligatory tissue box, pack of play-doh, Clorox wipes and a binder, we even bought a pack of those big fat pencils for good measure. After all, this is pre-school that we are talking about here. Serious stuff.
I had my meltdown 3 days prior, yep I'm a 3 day crier...exactly 3 days before anything big, I will have a meltdown, almost like clockwork. 3 days before today, I debated and fully considered not sending him, keeping him home...after all, three is a little young for school, no? But alas, my three year old had been excited to start this new adventure, and regardless of my intense paranoia about school shootings, allergy reactions and bullies, we went ahead and commenced the process of growing up. It was time for school, whether we were ready or not. Correction, whether I was ready of not.
Determined to begin new traditions and celebrate the new opportunity that education brings, I searched Pinterest high and low for ideas to make this day special. We began the night before tradition of going bowling with just our big school guy, giving him the one on one attention that he hasn't really gotten since his little brother came into the picture. With smiles on our faces, and excitement in our hearts we went to bed ready for what the next day would bring. This was actually happening. Our first baby was no longer a baby.
We woke up extra early, and to our surprise our Elf on a Shelf had come back with a special message for our big pre-schooler congratulating him on his first day of school, and wishing him luck. We had a big pancake breakfast with the grandmas and the traditional first day of school photo shoot on the front porch. The air was cool and crisp, perfect for a first day of school.
As I walked him into the building, stopping to take pictures every few steps, I reminded myself to take it all in and to remember this moment. Before I knew it, he was going to be a grown up, and if I didn't play my cards right, I might forget and miss these important firsts. We found his hook with his name and hung up the coveted backpack. He hit the restroom and then we headed hand in hand to the classroom, where we found his teacher and 4 other students, this was a transitional day for only half the class to meet one another before the start the full blown schedule next week. The other half would meet on Thursday.
With tears in my eyes I headed out the door waving goodbye to my Theo, who excidedly shouted "bye mom!" as I turned toward the parking lot. No tears, no clinging...just a simple "bye" like a kindergartner or something. This was all too much for this overprotective mother to take.
During the short drive home I reflected on my three year old's life up until now. All the sleepless nights, the constant worry, the breastfeeding that lasted way to long by society's standards. That drive proved to me that all of those sweet moments were truly gone. This was real. My baby was now a big boy.
Flash forward two quiet and very long hours later.I picked up my smiling boy who with arms full of artwork rushed to me with a huge grin jabbering about the wonders of the first day of preschool. Triumphantly we headed home to a favorite snack of Kale chips, a new Wiggles movie and balloons from grandma as a "hooray you did it" gift.
Yup, our very FIRST, first day was a success. Absolute perfection. One for the record books. I mean, we were full on fist pumping and shaking our hineys celebrating this monumental step into preschoolhood. You know, the who shebang, that is until shuffling through some old paperwork , I found the preschool papers that read plain as day,
Theo's First day of School; Thursday, September 5th 2013.
Today was the 3rd.
Damn you "first" day of school, I never liked you anyway.