Thursday, September 1, 2016

Blue-Frosted Cupcakes

Monday was my son's first day of Kindergarten and also his fifth birthday. A new school. New friends. New everything. And blue-frosted cupcakes for his class. All week I have stayed in a he's-in-a-new-school haze, as I try to learn all the procedures and expectations that the other parents already seem to know.

It's really all I can think about... I need to order more uniform shirts. I still need to install the school's app on my phone. Gotta sign up to volunteer. Kinder Parents breakfast. Early drop-off. Pack a snack. Take a water bottle. Buy more water bottles. Buy more snacks. 

Meanwhile, my house is still in a post-hurricane state from his party last week. Who has time to clean when I have Kindergarten to prepare for? 

But I don't mind this state of semi-stress. When I left him on his first day, I didn't cry. Instead, I was overwhelmingly proud of him. He hadn't shown one moment of fear or hesitation. I stayed with him a bit in the before-school care to get him acclimated, and when it was time for the kids to line up for the start of school, he confidently put on his backpack, gave me a kiss, and told me I could go. He got in line in between kids that were a foot taller, and I walked to my car, amazed by him.

All day long I wondered what he was doing and couldn't wait till it was time to go pick him up. And my list of to-do's changed to a list of did-I's.

Did I remind him to wash his hands?
Did I show him how to fasten his new uniform shorts?
Did I teach him how to make friends?
Did I tell him who to ask for help?
Did I tell him what to do if someone is mean?

Basically, have I prepared him for life? ...For the real life away from his pre-school? ...For real life with bigger kids and homework and grades and expectations? For the real world?

Suddenly, he isn't mine anymore. He is off on his own, with his own experiences and responsibilities. And I will try to help him as much as possible, with snacks, water bottles, clean uniforms, and blue-frosted cupcakes.

I wonder if I should have warned the parents that their kids' poop would be blue that night? :-)