So yesterday was the first day of school for my little goons. This year marks the first time they'll both be going to school for full days so it's kind of a big deal. As tough as this year was on the old man though, I must admit I had a much harder time with the baby going to preschool last year. At this point I think I've grown enough emotionally to handle it. That, or it just hasn't hit me yet, I'll let you know. Anyway, in following our young tradition I took the day off so I could get the girls ready and walk them to their classrooms and so I would be able to meet them for lunch at noon for a progress report.
The morning went well. They were up and ready to go in about 30 minutes. I usually don't give them time to beg for more sleep. I carry them out of bed and walk around with them until they wake up and beg for breakfast. I'm not sure what I'll do when they get much heavier though. Anyway, we all had waffles for breakfast. The girls ate facing the t.v while I struggled with a hair brush and half a bottle of detangler in an attempt to remove the birds nests that had formed through the night. Once I got their hair brushed we ran out to snap the traditional "before school" pose together by the fence.
I can't explain this year. I don't know what it was, but for whatever reason, there seemed to be no rush yesterday. It was calm. No one was nervous or sad about the day. No one cried or begged not to go. It was almost peaceful for some reason. I personally don't do well with this whole 'kids growing up" thing, so for ME to be so calm and zen about the whole thing really says a lot about how it all went down. So, the girls and I loaded up in the car and proceeded to the school. Now, being a dj I made sure we were equipped with the proper off to school soundtrack. The first song was a request, they wanted to hear daddy singing "Mighty Quinn,' a Manfred Mann hit from 1969. My girls are very well versed in music of every era and they were around when my band was recording 60's covers songs this summer and for whatever reason they wanted to hear that one first. I was not expecting this, but luckily I had it on my phone. When Mighty Quinn wrapped up, they wanted to jam to "Who put the Bomp." But did dad come prepared for that?!!......
Of COURSE he did silly. That's been one of Sammi's favorite songs since birth and for whatever reason it was on the radio last year on the way to the first day of school which we took as a good sign. So, remembering this, and knowing they'd want to hear it, I brought my rock n roll novelty disc. Hey, a good DJ knows his audience. If every there was a point I got the SLIGHTEST bit emotional, it was here. But, I pressed on.
When we got to the school the girls were happy to learn they would get to play together in the gym before class started. I was happy too. That way older sister could show little sis the ropes. In the hallway one of the teachers who happens to be my aunt grabbed my phone and said we NEEDED an "in school" picture together so we posed for her in the hallway and that was that. I gave them each a hug and watched them hold hands down the hallway. So I went home to putz around the now quiet house, have some breakfast and take a little nap. I set my alarm for 10:30 just in case I fell asleep on the couch for too long. I was NOT going to miss heading back to the school to eat lunch with the babies.
By 11:00 I was back at the school to have lunch with Lex and the Kindergarten. This was her first ever hot school lunch and she did well. She went through the line perfectly, picked her favorite fruits and found her table without incident. Of course I walked through the line WITH her, but I'm positive she could have done it alone. So we sat down and she proceeded to tell me how much she loves school. She had a long morning recess and got to color on rainbow paper! Who could argue with that? I think the hardest time she'll have is learning to eat faster. She couldn't understand why she now had 15 minutes to eat lunch each day. She likes to take her time and absorb her surroundings, but once she gets the concept of food shoveling mastered I think she'll be ok.
Lex wanted me to walk her to her room after lunch and looking back, I should have, but I couldn't because the second her class left, it was BIG sister's turn to get some grub. So, I went through the line with Sammi next. Now She's a lunch room veteran and is quite used to having me there, so she wasn't nearly as excited to see me. So I interviewed Sam about her day. I learned she TOO had a long recess that she had really enjoyed. She told me that she wanted to go our for ice cream after school to celebrate and I of course agreed. Remember two and a half paragraphs ago when I said I don't know what it was about yesterday? Well, I stand by that statement. We all know how loud an elementary lunch room can get, but for whatever reason, all the kids were CALM yesterday. Nearly a hundred grade schoolers in a giant echo chamber, and I was still able to carry on a quite conversation with each of my daughters. I'm telling you, everything was at peace yesterday. The kids were smiling, talking quietly...being POLITE to each other. I'm still not sure if yesterday actually happened or if it was some sort of hallucination.
Well, when Sammi's table got dismissed I stood with her in line waiting for her teacher to come down to the lunch room and lead the students back to their room. When the teacher DID arrive she asked me where I parked. Turns out I had parked near to their classroom so she said I could walk the class to their room and then Sammi could walk me down the hallway to the door by my car. We were both very excited for this. It's always nice to get the teachers permission to walk through the hallways after all. So, I walked Sam to her room and once her classmates were out of sight she asked me to CARRY her to the door. I told her that being carried isn't exactly the same as ESCORTING me to the door, but I didn't mind. So I picked up my 60 pound second grader and we made our way through the hallways to the front entrance. It WAS a fairly long walk, and she was more than excited to show off to passersby how proud she was to be carried. I guess I just soaked it all in. Knowing that each step brought me closer to never being able to do this again. The first day of school is never an easy one for me, but if ever there was a great one, yesterday was it.