First Grade? Really?

I couldn’t fall asleep last night. At some point after I did, sometime in the dark of the night, BigBrother came into our room. “I can’t sleep.” I showed him back to his room. He was excited. I was nervous.

Because this…

First Day of School

…floors me.

First grade? Really?

I opened his door quietly this morning, having forced myself out of bed to get ready and start working before it was time to wake him up for his first day of school. As he adjusts back into his school schedule, I adjust back into my school year work schedule. In the dark of his room, light barely peeking around the edges of his room darkening curtains, I crawled into his bed. Like me, he radiates heat and the warmth of his not-so-little body was calming. I ran a hand over his freshly cut hair, fuzzy and short. I scratched his back, and he finally cracked a little smile; he is his father’s soon. For another moment or so, we were quiet. And then we weren’t.

The morning began, and with cereal and teeth brushing and getting dressed and news watching (he is my son too), the morning continued. I apparently wasn’t moving fast enough. “Mommy, can you help me with my shoes so we can go outside and take my pictures.” I smiled; the child of a photographer knows the process of things.

First Day


And then we were off. I felt rushed, antsy, but we had more than enough time to follow him down the hall to his classroom, to settle him in, to wish him a good day. To leave him behind.

First Day of School

First Day of School

He doesn’t mind, of course. He loves school. He’s been singing, making up words about the new school year for the past few days; making my ears tired with the repetitive lyrics and tune. A new school this year, he knows some kids from our neighborhood, his old preschool, our old church. We saw a girl in his class who was at his old school last year and another with whom he shared one of his first “playdates” as a wee-one. He will make friends; he’s a good kid. I’d want to be his friend if I wasn’t his mom. But I worry too that children will be unkind, as children are, or that teachers won’t recognize him for who he is, for what he brings to the classroom. I put those fears aside as best I can, so I can smile at him and be his support.

Because I know he is THISEXCITED to go to school, to make new friends, to be the best version of himself that he can be.

First Day of School

And I am THATEXCITED for him.

Now excuse me while I go blow my nose; I have to go pick him up — with a smile — soon.


8 Replies to “First Grade? Really?”

  1. I’m sure it will be nonstop talk all the way home about all the cool new stuff at school today. :)

    I had Charlie with me up at school today while I doing PTO stuff and he kept asking where all the other kids were and when did school start and why did his new teacher move to a different classroom and did we know there was a new librarian……

    and you get the gist of it!

  2. Does he ever look so ready!! I’m kind of jealous that you get to walk him to class. Sending all three of mine on the bus at once is going to be HARD next week. This is going to be an awesome year.

    1. In one of the notes that came home after Open House, this school *asks* that you don’t walk them to class past the first couple of weeks. Yeah. Ha. That wouldn’t have flown with me last year. At all. But yeah, I’m not looking forward to next year when I put them BOTH on the bus on the second day and send them off. OMG.

  3. I got teary reading this, because it was exactly my day today. My son started first grade, too. He was born with a cleft palate, which has since been repaired. He is in an intensive speech therapy program because of the cleft. I always worry that as he and his classmates get older, they will start catching on to this and not want to be as nice to him. I worry that every year a new teacher will bring new adversities with learning to understand him, being understanding of his needs and appreciating him.

    I hope your son had a great first day!

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