Yesterday Jackson and Ansley started their first day in 3rd and 2nd grade, but today was another big milestone for our family. Today our sweet Elsie Miles went to Kindergarten!Elsie is our kid that can make a friend no matter where we go. If there are other kids somewhere, Elsie will have a "new friend" within minutes, so we knew that she would have no problem with the social aspect of school. She has been so excited about starting Kindergarten, and when we found out who her teacher is for the year, she only became that more excited because Jackson and Ansley kept telling her how nice that teacher is. She has been fine with starting Kindergarten until the last couple of days and she told me a time or two that she "didn't want to go to school." My kids never went to any type of preschool program or anything like that, and I could tell that she was getting nervous about being away from me. We would talk about all the fun she is going to have learning new things, making lots of new friends, getting to go to music class (since she LOVES to sing), and how she gets to ride the bus with Jackson and Ansley (which she is really looking forward to). She came to me last night and said, "Mama, I'm nervous about Kindergarten." I told her that is absolutely understandable, and that I always get nervous when I do new things, too. We told her that it is okay to be nervous, but that she is going to do great and have a wonderful day. We then read "Countdown to Kindergarten," "Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten," "Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!" and "The Kissing Hand." We then drew our "kissing hands" on one another before we went to bed.
This morning when I went and woke her up, she jumped up and hugged me and seemed completely fine, and even excited while getting dressed and ready for school. We took some pictures and then loaded up in the car. All the way there Jackson and Ansley were telling her all about the different things she was going to get to do at school and Jackson said, "This is so exciting that you are going to be at school with us!"
Once we got to school she seemed fine, until we dropped Jackson off at the gym and started to go to the cafeteria to take Ansley and her to their class lines. As soon as we turned from the gym and it was just Elsie and Ansley, Elsie grabbed a hold of Ansley's hand. She got to the cafeteria and then turned to grab mine. We took Ansley to her class line, and then I walked Elsie over to where her teacher was. By this point Elsie was squeezing my hand pretty tightly, and holding onto my arm as well. Her teacher came over and was telling her how much she loved her dress, and then she said, "Elsie, I see something on your hand. I know what book that is from and we're going to do something with that today." Elsie grinned and then we went and sat down and waited for the bell to ring.
As we were sitting there she kept hugging me and I was trying to think of anything I could to talk about to keep ME from crying. You know what is not good for your emotions- having a baby and then less than a week later sending one of your kids off to kindergarten. Talk about an emotional mess! Once the bell rang and the teacher said it was time to go to class, Elsie grabbed a hold of my neck and I as I was prying her arms off from around me, I was trying to put on my biggest fake smile possible. I told her I loved her and that she was going to have a wonderful day. She had tears in her eyes and her teacher walked over to her and held out her hand and Elsie took it. My little blonde hair, blue eyed baby girl walked down the hallway and a piece of my heart broke knowing that this was a big step in letting my baby girl grow up. Elsie has such a huge heart and is constantly giving me hugs and saying, "Mom! I love you!" about a hundred times a day, and I am going to miss those precious moments throughout the day. I also worry because she has such a huge heart, she gets her feelings hurt so easily. When that does happen, she rushes to me with crocodile tears in her eyes, and does one of those hugs where she throws her whole body into my arms. I dread that first time she is at school and someone upsets her and I will not be there for her to run to, but I know she will be okay and will figure out this whole "growing up" thing just fine.
As I walked out of the school the tears already started falling before I even reached my car. Eric had stayed home with Vada Belle and Felix since they both were still asleep, and when I got home I told him, "That was really mean of you to make a crazy hormonal woman try to drive herself home through all those tears." We both laughed (and I cried some more) as he hugged me.
After school Elsie was so excited to tell me about her day and when I asked her if she missed me, she said, "No!" My mom was here when I asked her that and we both laughed and I said, "Not even a little bit?" She said, "No, Mom! I didn't. For real." and then started laughing. I'm so glad she had a fantastic first day! She said that her favorite part of the day was "everything except for when I got bit by a sweat bee outside." :)Look out world because our sweet Elsie Miles is growing up, and we know she is going to be something amazing!