Sean’s 1st Day of Kindergarten!

by Kathy on September 8, 2009 · 6 comments

in Baby Benson, Bob, Milestones, Molly, Sean

Thank you for your comments on my last post and for repeating my new mantra with me, “September 17 is going to be a happy day!” I have continued to try to focus on that statement and not worry too much about what could possibly go wrong between now and then (our new baby girl’s potential birthday). Only 9 more days, if she doesn’t arrive early…

In the meantime, we had another HUGE milestone in our family today, as our son Sean started kindergarten! He is pictured here getting ready to leave our house for his first day of school!

Sean chose to wear his “Life is Good – PB & J” t-shirt as he thought it would be fun for his classmates to know how much he likes to eat PB & J sandwiches and so they would know what he would be having in his lunch today! 🙂

Some other highlights from this milestone for our son (and really our whole family) include: for those who don’t know our family “in real life” or those who do, but we haven’t shared with you, Sean is going to one of the Chicago Public School’s ten “Regional Gifted Centers” (RGC). It is located about 3 1/2 miles from our house. The RGC’s pull from around the city and this one in particular gets a lot of students from the south side (where we live). The kids have to test in to go there and we were excited that Sean got in. It isn’t our neighborhood school, which is/was an adjustment in what we imagined Sean’s elementary school experience would be like, but we feel good about our decision and think it will be a good fit for him. There are also a good number of kids in our neighborhood who also go to this school and at least six that are in his kindergarten class, which we are happy about.

Sean’s elementary school starts at 7:45 a.m. and beginning tomorrow, when he takes the bus there, we will be leaving the house closer to 6:45 a.m. (to walk with Sean to the bus stop), so we all got up early this morning to “practice” the new routine.

Bob got up first and showered and then together we went into Sean’s room, a little after 6:00 a.m., to wake him up (which is a rare occurrence, as he typically is an early riser and we don’t need to wake him). As I may have mentioned here before, Sean likes to feel like he always has a hand in decisions in our family and doesn’t like to feel as if he can’t do certain things on his own, so as we woke him up, though he was really only half awake he mumbled to us something about how he was really about to wake up anyway. Too cute!

Next Sean got dressed, made his bed (one of his daily chores) and Bob and he headed downstairs for breakfast. I had gotten the idea from some friends who have older children to make a special “1st Day of School Breakfast.” We already do this annually on Sean’s birthday, letting him choose what he wants to eat for breakfast that morning. So Sean chose one of his favorite breakfasts for today, waffles made with batter on our waffle iron.

When I came downstairs to join them, I found Bob and Sean mixing the batter for the waffles and thought it was too cute, so of course had to snap a few pictures. After I took a picture of the two of them smiling at me while in action, I said to Bob and Sean, you guys look a bit tired and Bob replied, “we are!”

During breakfast we talked about what Sean’s school day might be like. We talked about listening, about getting to know his teacher, classmates and school. We went over what might happen at snack time (we pack them now, instead of how they did it in preschool, when it was provided) and lunch time (they only have 20 minutes to eat). Sean talked about what he was excited about at school and we told him how excited we were for him.

After breakfast we got the rest of Sean’s lunch together in his lunch bag, I had premade most of it the night before and went over everything in his lunch and backpack. Then we headed outside for the “traditional” first day of school pictures! I couldn’t believe how awesome the first one (see above) turned out, which shows how genuinely happy Sean was about starting school today! We also snapped some pictures of Sean showing off his new backpack, including the fact that his named is embroidered on the back, as well as one with Daddy and then one with Mommy.

When we got to school Sean got to meet his kindergarten teacher. Though he had attended a two week summer orientation program at the school back in June to get to know his teacher and kindergarten classmates (which was awesome), last month they decided to make some staffing changes at the school and the woman (who is great) who was supposed to be their teacher switched roles with the reading and math resource teacher (who is also great). His new teacher seems super nice and really looks and acts the part of someone who was made to be a kindergarten teacher!

It was also fun to meet up with some of Sean’s kindergarten classmates and their parents, both those we already knew from our neighborhood and those who he/we had met this summer during the orientation.

We also got to see one of our neighborhood/playgroup friends at school this morning. Sean and she have known each other since Sean was 3 months old and she was about 9 months old (as they were in our playgroup together). She is in 1st grade at the school and her family/our good friends helped us to learn more about/prepare for Sean starting kindergarten there today.

After about 45 minutes of mingling outside of the school with other children and their families and faculty members (which we didn’t expect to go on for so long, however we rolled with it), it was finally time for the kids to head in to start their school day!

I went home and spent most of the morning/early afternoon relaxing on the couch, which was nice. For those who are “friends” with me on Facebook, you may have seen the pictures (with detailed captions) I shared there from this morning. That was one of my low key couch projects that I “worked on” while Sean was at school and developing the captions for the pictures inspired me to expand on them to create this post. This was in part because this morning when Sean asked me what I rememberd from my first day of kindergarten, I told him honestly that I didn’t really remember anything from my first day. Though I did share with him some of the fun memories I do have from my kindergarten days.

Hopefully, if I feel up to it, I will be a bit more productive (off of the couch) tomorrow while Sean is at school. But I know at this stage of gestation that it is perfectly acceptable to be taking it easy.

Anyway, up until I arrived to pick Sean up from school at about 1:25 p.m. our day seemed to be going just perfectly (it was almost unreal). When I along with the other parents waiting to see their kindergartners (and children in other grades) emerge from school caught sight of our kids being dismissed we all cheered! When Sean saw my face and I saw his, we both lit up with big smiles and waved. Sean ran to me and gave me a big hug!

It was another awesome moment in his first day of school that we got to share together, that is until I took his backpack off his back and I realized that his unfinished milk from lunch was leaking all over and out of the inside of his backpack! We are leaning towards having him buy it at school from now on, which is a convenient and inexpensive option his school offers. The “spilled milk” incident led to a lot of seemingly important “first day of school documents” getting very wet and I got flustered trying to figure out what to do about it.

I won’t go into the details/drama that followed, but for a woman who is 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, it took a lot out of me. Lucky two of Sean’s classmates’ moms were nearby and willing to help during those stressful moments (for me at least). They took Sean with them and their children to play on the school’s playground, while I went with his kindergarten teacher and the school’s assistant principal (both of whom were very kind and accommodating) to try to get fresh copies of the paperwork.

From there on out our afternoon just became a comedy of errors, beginning with me thinking I could wing some kind of short cut from Sean’s school to a local ice cream parlor in our neighborhood (which was a complete disaster, even though we have GPS in our car) where I had invited some friends/other school families to join us and celebrate the end of the first day. Sean and I did have some good laughs on our detours and he kept reminding me the rest of the day that short cuts are only a good idea if you actually know where you are going! So true…

By the time we met up with our friends at the ice cream parlor I was exhausted. It was disappointing not to feel up to chatting and to sort of miss out on the celebration of the first day of school, or at least have it cut short by our late arrival and soon after we finished our ice cream our early departure, when Sean had to go to the bathroom (and the ice cream parlor didn’t have one). Later as I was relaying all of this to Bob on the phone (while he was at work), he said to me, “but did he have fun?!” I replied, “yes, Sean seemed to love it all!” Thus Bob pointed out that essentially that is what really matters. Point taken and once again, I agree.

One neat silver lining to Sean and my “spilled milk” followed by “getting lost near/in our own neighborhood” adventure, besides our being able to laugh (instead of cry) about it together most of the time, took place when we did finally arrive at the ice cream parlor. As we got out of our minivan Sean immediately looked down on the street and saw a penny! He was very excited as he picked it up and put it in his pocket! We decided together that it was a lucky penny in honor of his first day of school, which even had the year of his birth, 2003, on it! Definitely a saver…

I also reminded Sean of the “pennies from Heaven” idea (that we first learned of soon after Molly’s birth and death last year) and suggested that maybe this special penny that he found was “from his sister Molly in Heaven,” showing us that she was watching over him/our family on this special day in Sean’s/our life! Sean then said something like “do you really think it is from her?” and I replied that I am not sure, that it could also just be a coincidence, but that I like to believe that our baby girl in Heaven sent it to us.

As we headed over to the ice cream parlor, from our car, to meet our friends I said a little thank you to God and Molly for getting us to that point in our day safely and got a little choked up imagining that our first baby girl was looking out for us. It would have been really nice to have Molly with us today, to celebrate her big brother’s first day of kindergarten, as so many of Sean’s classmates’ younger siblings were able to. However, I do believe that our first daughter/baby sister was watching over us today (as she does everyday). I am also extremely grateful that we did have our second daughter/baby sister with us as she continues to grow and develop inside of me. It won’t be long before hopefully she will get to join us on such special family excursions outside of me.

Before bedtime tonight Sean’s shared with us his special prayer for today which was “I had a very fun time at my first day of school!” We were so glad to hear that, though it was pretty clear to us from our conversations throughout the day. We are so proud of our son Sean and look forward to his elementary school journey in the days, weeks, months and years to come!

As I shared in my Facebook “status update” this morning:

It’s official now… I am the mother of a kindergartner! It was bittersweet this morning, but mostly awesome to see our son so excited about starting elementary school!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martha September 9, 2009 at 9:02 am

Congrats to Sean!! Yipee for Class of 2022!!!


2 Beautiful Mess September 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

Awww what a great day! I'm glad you made it through, as did Sean, unscathed! Those first days are tough, new routine and such, but you did an AMAZING job! Good work!

Enjoy your couch time and the peace and quiet.


3 Shelli September 10, 2009 at 5:52 am

First day of Kindergarten is such a milestone! Enjoy the last week before the new arrival….


4 Photogrl September 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Welcome to the kindergarten club!

Sean looks SO excited in the picture. I'm glad he had a great day.

Not much longer now…


5 A Mom in Jacksonville, FL September 10, 2009 at 7:45 pm

SO cute! Glad he's excited by school, how wonderful!

Thinking of you as the 17th draws near…


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