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Thursday, August 27, 2015

First days of school: Kindergarten and preschool!

Well, the day has come where both of our littles are in school at some point during the week. Carter now goes a whopping 5 days from 11:15-2:57 (not a minute later than 2:57:59!), and Kota preschool's it up on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15-4:15.

Carter's first day
Talk about tears! The whole morning leading up to the Big Drop Off, I was restraining myself from unleashing a Hoover Dam sized knot. Once he got into his adorable outfit, we tied up his little Airwalks just right, styled those blonde locks, snapped a couple thousand pictures and got ourselves outside the "kindergarten gate" at Susan B. Anthony elementary, it was clear that we were starring in our own episode of The Twilight Zone.

(Very) fortunately, we happened to know a few kids in his class already - thank the good Lord. As soon as we walked up, Carter's best buddy from preschool started yelling, "Carter! Carter, over here!" which caused other kids to say, "yeah Carter! Over here!" (kids we had never met), and then my mama heart broke free from my chest and began singing one thousand ancient songs of happiness, relief and... victory? I don't know. It was a stellar feeling on that first day.

This fact was not only cool for Carter. I felt super sonic about knowing a few moms in his class. Drop off and pick up are really fun times for little ol' me! It seriously feels so great knowing people at the local elementary. We have done it! We've accomplished it! Integration in a city outside of our comfort zone! VEEECTORY.
Sidetrack done. But really, the only thought running through my mind on that day of days was how Carter is legitimately starting the rest of his life. I know, I know - it's kindergarten, but this is a big deal! He is starting his whole life as a conscientious person in the world. He isn't mine. He isn't Chad's. He's a third party with his own thoughts, emotions, viewpoints, sense of humor and opinions. It's sad and thrilling, but mainly thrilling.

Mrs. Haggerty, you've got a student who loves you so, so much!

Kota's first day
I'm embarrassed to say that although I know how big of a deal it is for our little princess to start school, I just kept thinking, "this is child's play for her." Further, even though I understand that she's one of the younger children in the class, it's a fact that she's got this handled. There was definitely a little knot of emotion there for my baby girl as she embarked on such a life-changing journey of her own, don't get me wrong. But maybe with this being Cisneros child #2 starting "the process," and after experiencing such a wonderful time the first go-around, I felt less of a desire to be worked up, emotional and overall the "can you believe this is happening???!!!" mom. There was just this underlying emotion of "THIS girl. She's READY to rock this school thang."

But okay, that's not really how it went. Her and I walked to school just like we did with Carter last year, her hair in a pretty, pretty pony tail and her Sofia the First shoes velcroed just right. We stopped where all the parents were waiting for the gate to open, the place where I encountered several "this is my first child going to preschool, I'm about to start bawling my eyes out" mothers - me, just two years ago. I noted that those emotions juxtaposed mine so vividly, I experienced a moment of guilt, but then took stock of my calm child and really thought that without knowing so, those mamas were stressing their kiddos out. I probably stressed Carter out!
Once the gate opened we all flooded the classroom where the Cisneros patron saint of 2014-2015 stood: Mrs. Linda! Carter's old teacher! Oh, we were so happy Kota got her this year. She made me feel good after our Corona move and truly holds a special place in my heart. Kota quickly said hello and then got started on a kitty cat puzzle. There was a HUGE crowd to send off the preschoolers, so even though I felt like we should have all heave-ho'd after a swift "good-bye," us parents and the surprisingly large group of kids' extended families stuck around for a good 20 minutes which of course, was precious.


Returning to our house on Kota's first day of school as a solo, non-child wrangling woman was genuinely a sad, surreal event. The "awesome" shoe had not dropped yet. Yes, in theory it was going to be great to have some alone time, but I was fighting back tears! My mom called and asked me how I felt about the whole thing, and I almost started crying while saying, "it's so cool! But I'm a little sad about it." Update: it's now awesome.


Both of them had great first days of school. I'm so proud of them. Kota loves saying good-bye to Carter when we leave him with Mrs. Haggerty and Carter gets so excited to retrieve Kota while Mom "stays on the grass." It's so sweet! My babies, my babies. Oh sheesh. My babes. Growing, growing, growing.

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