Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Real School" is here!

Sydney started Kindergarten yesterday. Every time I think about that, I absolutely cannot believe it. I found her first school picture from daycare (in March 2010) with the sweet Ms. Jan and did a side-by-side to this year's open house with her Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hartman. Can you believe this? I remember the day we took her to daycare like it was yes-ter-day!!!!!

Randall and I were talking over the weekend about the many adorable baby and toddler moments that feel like just yesterday. Of course we recognize she has changed and grown so much, but the memories of those first few weeks are crystal clear. She was the easiest baby ever --- maybe parents with difficult infants don't remember those first few weeks as well!

Yesterday was very exciting. And Collin was not to be left out - he started a new class yesterday, which is more like "real" pre-school. I'm really hoping he grows as much during his time in the Pre-School II class as Sydney did. It was her greatest year of growth, both socially and academically.

I'm not sure they could've looked any cuter, but that's a mama talking. Sydney had picked out this outfit - head to toe - during a recent shopping trip, and it was absolutely killing her that it had to hang in her closet until this special day. I really think it helped her overall confidence going to Kindergarten that she felt awesome in her fabulous new dress, larger-than-life headband and shoes (which kind of hurt her, I later found out, but it was worth it for the first day, I think). Collin felt all-powerful in his Spiderman kicks. What else does a 3-year-old boy need?!

(Side note -- I always hate when I see articles saying you shouldn't tell your daughter she's beautiful. It counts for a lot when girls feel confident. We also tell her she's smart, funny, kind, etc., but what is the harm in feeling pretty, too? I dare say a lot of the dumb decisions girls make as they get older are because they struggle with self-esteem, so if I can help with that even a little bit, I'm going to. UGH. Drives me crazy!)

So, the moment Sydney got on the bus, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Not like I was sad, but she just seemed SO BIG at that moment. The bus is a very big deal. I always rode the bus, but watching my daughter do it was entirely different. She was so brave. It didn't hurt that her driver, Ms. Shirley, is about the sweetest woman I've ever encountered. She even let Collin come on and see what it was all about.

The recap of the day was exciting. I could not wait to pick her up from her after-school program to get the play-by-play. We have staggered entry, so there were only a handful of classmates there yesterday. The whole class will be there Friday. It was perfect for Sydney to ease into the whole thing. Her school is huge, and I was worried about it feeling overwhelming, but she was completely comfortable.

This is the child who was as shy as could be 2-3 years ago. It has been so enjoyable watching her personality evolve. I know she will make many new friends in the coming weeks, even though she misses her pre-school gang. I had hoped at least one of them would be in her Kindergarten class, but I actually think this may be the best thing --- force her out of her shell even more.

Last night, the teacher sent every parent a note about their child. She had the nicest things to say about Sydney --- how she was so fun and outgoing and "a very smart cookie." We will have to make sure she stays challenged academically, but I think this teacher is very aware already and will make sure all the kids are doing work to suit their ability. She already made sure of that yesterday. Sydney told me after she did some work in her assessment, the teacher looked at her and said "Lord-a-mercy!" Sydney telling that story was hilarious.

All we really learned from Collin's first day is that he made a happy plate at lunch and they got to explore their new classroom. I guess that's what you get when you're three.

It's going to be a great year for both kids! Collin is already asking when he gets to ride the bus. Two years feels like a long time, but I know it will fly by. He misses his sissy already!!