This week, Brody started First Grade. And although, I was definitely emotional last year when he embarked on his first official school year, this time, I was a bit more of a mess. Perhaps, it was a cause and effect of my many friends whose children started their first year of Kindergarten this year, and spoke of their own emotional distress about the whole deal. I felt as if I did not experience anything near their thoughts. But this year, I apparently caught up.
He was very excited and anxious about his first day. He found that he had a teacher he liked and a few friends in his class. But going from the loving and gentle hands of Kindergarten to the pack of wolves of First Grade proved a challenge for mom & dad. Last year, we were able to drop him off at his classroom everyday and pick him up directly from the teacher. There was a lot of communication, a lot of ease in the transition. This year, we drop him off on the playground, where he walks to class with the teacher, and we pick him up in the ever-dreadful "car line." Which all of us were very anxious about! Chase and I both picked up Brody, arrived 15 minutes early only to be the 9th car in line, sat in the hot Arizona sun, and sat nervously hoping our boy would make it to the right spot. We definitely talked about it, informing him where he would need to go, and ensure that HE DID NOT get in anybody else's car. We informed him to ask for help and his teacher would be more than happy to give it to him. In our God given parental right, Chase and I had every reason to be nervous, as in a mix up last year, Brody was lost for a good 10 minutes. And let me tell you, that was 10 minutes of HELL I don't ever want back. Brody said that he "would be brave." And brave he was, as when we pulled up, he was standing just as told. I think Chase and I both sighed a bit of relief, knowing that Brody had just matured a little bit more than he had in the day before. Another small milestone in the very many of childhood. Although it makes me appreciate the efforts that my own family went through in picking me up during my school-years, it makes my time as a parent continue to grow in challenge and triumph. (And they say the baby years are hard - ha!)
But we made it through. No tears, just smiles. Chase treated him to Yogurtini that evening and he had a small visit with friends.
Here's to a good school year for Brody, for mom, for dad, and for every other parent and child out there. It may hurt our hearts to see our babies grow, but oh my, does it feel amazing to see them do it with such pride. It makes the whole thing a heck of a lot easier.