So as mentioned previously, I had a bit of a struggle sending my sweet girl off on her own, into the Big Bad World of kindergarten. We had planned on her going to the local elementary school, but at the last minute, her lottery number was called for the local charter school. A better school than Maddy's elementary, on all accounts. (Does it really matter for kindergarten though? No idea.)
Right away Mike was completely at ease with sending her to the charter school. I, on the other hand, had some real reservations. I couldn't figure out what they were exactly, and after some conversations with my sister-in-law, we figured out it was (likely) that her start date for kindy got moved up by two weeks and I just wasn't ready, period.
Luckily we were able to schedule some time with one of the administrators to ask some questions. I wasn't overly charmed by her, particularly, but everything she said made sense. Additionally, we took Kirsten with us (who is also an educator), and while she got down to the nitty-gritty, asking questions about the curriculum and so forth, my basic concern was "Are the teachers nice?" After being put at ease, I felt really good about saying YES to the charter school. A couple of reasons that made it easier: 1) if it was horrible, we could always take her out and put her at the elementary she was zoned for, and 2) we're trying to move out of this house anyway, and when that happens, we wouldn't have to worry about necessarily picking a house for the school, or worry about her transferring schools.
We went to Meet the Teacher on August 13th. I got a little nervous about everything, and was kind of dreading the entire experience. I put on the happiest face that I could and we marched into that school like we owned the place. (Well, Maddy did. I kind of lurked behind her.) We saw the list for teachers and were instantly relieved - Maddy's teacher's name = PERFECTION. We walked into her class and when I saw her teacher, she was such a welcome sight. No warts on her face, no witch's hat... Maddy and Mike walked around the room while I tried to fill out a boatload of paperwork. Her teacher seemed very sweet and adorable and I was reminded of how truly amazing teachers really are. (Most of them.)
When we left, I felt really good about everything. And Maddy was actually looking forward to school - no fussing or nervousness or anything. I didn't think that would last through the next morning, But. It. Did. Seriously, in the last year, she has grown up so much! I didn't seriously consider starting her early with kindy, but we both thought about it. And now, I'm SO glad we didn't. She has come out of her shell so much and was just ready.
The next morning was chaotic to say the least. With the getting her ready, making sure her lunch was ready to go... Plus I wanted to get ready and look decent for pictures (FAIL), and the mornings are a real pain for me at this moment.
(So I'll be honest and saw the pictures below with her holding the sign are... from this morning. Don't tell.)
We took her in, put her stuff in her cubby, hung up her backpack. She sat right down with a book and hardly gave us another glance. I was so worried! I didn't know if she really understood that it wouldn't be like preschool, I wasn't coming back before lunch to get her. That this was more strict, she had to keep her shirt tucked in, etc.
I walked out the door and LOST. IT. I couldn't stop the tears. Someone from the PTO handed me a little flower with a poem in it, and of course I forgot my sunglasses... I saw all the glances in my direction - some sympathetic, some just pathetic - I didn't care though. One guy said "Kindergarten mom, huh? Next year, you won't be able to wait to drop em off!" The lady behind him said "My daughter is in 2nd grade, it's still really hard."
It was SUCH a drama-filled day for me! Poor Hud, he put up with a lot. We did meet some friends at CFA for a leisurely breakfast, which was amazing. Then I went to Sam Moon to drown my sorrows in a new purse, only to come out with a new scarf instead. (Because I quite obviously don't have enough of those.) By the time I finally got through the heinous pick-up line to get her, I was almost sobbing again. And just like that, she seemed older. She so matter-of-factly asked me "Mom, why are you crying?" *sigh* I hope she gets it one day. That this was a HUGE event for me, to let her out of my sight, with people I didn't know at all, in this big school with rotten, stinky kids and fed-up teachers. But she did great! And she's been exited every day for school, and come home with some hilarious stories about different things that have happened. I absolutely LOVE hearing about her day, it's the best part of my day for sure.
I love her so much. I'm so proud to be her mom. ♥