First Day of School {2013}

by Cate on September 9, 2013

I had been dreading today. For a variety of reasons. The resurgence of a super early alarm clock. Long nights with homework. Rushed dinners. Loss of daylight hours.

And putting Madeline on the bus.

The biggest reason of all.

When I first registered Nick for kindergarten years ago, I got a letter from his teacher and in it, it said something like “can’t wait to meet you. report to room #123 and i’ll see you there.”

And I kind of freaked out. The thought of putting him on the bus at age five, and having him navigate the hallways of a school on his own with over 700 kids was just too much for me to fathom. I called The Ex and told him I was registering Nick at a local Catholic school instead. Way smaller. And way less anxiety for me. (And where Nick stayed for three years)

And so I haven’t had the experience of putting a five year old on a bus before. Until this morning, that is.

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Madeline is a completely different kid at age 5 than Nick was. So that helped. And she is also starting at the school that Nick just graduated from, so the building is somewhat familiar to her (although still massive, and with a large enrollment). And she knows many kids at the bus stop that promised to look out for her. And I quizzed the principal last week judiciously. And I prepped Madeline as best as I could.

And then as some point, you have to let go.

But, I don’t think it gets any easier.

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She remembered I drew matching hearts on our hands on the first day of school last year, and asked that I do that again. Of course, I complied.

I didn’t cry at the bus stop. But I did totally follow the bus to school.

And Nick? Easier, but still hard. Starting a new school as well. New crowd at the bus stop (but still many familiar faces). New schedule. Lockers. Switching classes.

So much newness for them both.

They were both really excited to start this new chapter. And just a teensy bit nervous.

And I couldn’t wait for them to get off the bus and tell me all about their day.

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*I thought sprinkle donuts were the perfect way to celebrate

I seriously counted down the hours until they got home, eager to get the full report. Both kids had a great day. Madeline said she can’t wait to go back tomorrow. Nick’s day was just as good, though I think he was feeling a bit overwhelmed with some of the expectations outlined in the different classes. Apparently, the shiz starts to get real in the sixth grade.

Hungry for more?
Last years’ first day of school. I always take the first and last day pictures in front of this white garage door in the neighborhood, because the panels are an excellent way to instantly see how much they’ve grown. They have each gained a few inches, easily, since last September. It’s only a matter of time before Nick is taller than me. Excuse me while I go dig out some baby books to make myself feel better…

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne September 10, 2013 at 6:29 am

I don’t know if I could take putting my kid on a bus…especially after riding a bus in middle school. My mom drove us all through elementary school (we were spoiled) since the school was not really far. Crazy.

I also cannot believe how big they are getting!! Seriously.
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Jenna September 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

The bus is just so hard. We also didn’t put BB on the bus at 5 for various reasons. So doing so this year with LB was SO HARD.

Hope your year goes well!
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Patsy September 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

I know it’s hard to let go, but I have to say I was really excited for our oldest to head off to middle school this year. So many new experiences and opportunities to do different things are waiting for him! He’s pretty easy going with new stuff, so I never have to worry about him. :)

Our youngest going into 5th this year was a little nervous following behind his brother. First day went well for him and he really likes his teacher, so his nervousness faded pretty quickly.

I think, as parents, we worry more than we need to… kids adapt to change and new experiences so much better than we do. Sometimes letting go is hard, but they need to gain those little bits of independence in order to grow up. :)
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sadaf September 10, 2013 at 8:52 am

I’d be scared to put a 5 year old on a bus by herself too!! It’s so good your daughter was familiar with the process and had friends looking out for her! Loved the matching hearts!

By the way, your garlic bread fantastique made its way into our eve-ofschool dinner. It’s become a montly staple in our house. My son adores it! Thanks!

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Sarah W. Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) September 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

I had a really hard time putting them on the bus this year — especially with them going to different places. So glad Nick and Madeline had great first days!
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