Aaand…she’s off!

First Day of School - Kindergartenkindergarten2Kindergarten3

The Internet continues to ask me how Ruthie’s first week of kindergarten is going, and I am derelict in responding. My sister was in town last week, we had a holiday, I’m having some sleeping issues, and I’m reading a book I can’t put down. My apologies to The Internet for leaving you hanging in the balance.

But it gives me warm fuzzies all over that you continue to harass me via twitter, IM, and email – I’ve been writing about Ruthie for so long that it sometimes feels like our little girl is growing up. Someday when she reads back through my archives looking for ammunition to bring her therapist, I hope she runs across this post and realizes that I love her so much it’s contagious.

As far as school itself is going, Ruthie is much more tight lipped than I expected her to be. Though I don’t know why I’m surprised by that – every Sunday I pick her up from her Sunday school class and ask what she did. Nothing, is always the response I get, and I get the same when I see her after school.

Though I do get the lowdown each day on a new friend she’s made – a girl in the other kindergarten class she met at the back to school bbq. They are not in the same class, but it turns out they ride the same bus home. Today when I met her at the bus stop Ruthie was hysterically insisting I board the bus to meet her new friend, and since I clearly can’t do this there were great fits of rage right there on the sidewalk with the backpack a-flyin’ and the feet a stompin’.

Thankfully we recovered from that quickly, and moved on. But what can I say? She’s a social, hospitable girl with clear, unbendable, expectations (sound familiar?).

Speaking of riding the bus, at the 11th hour she had a panic attack of sorts, and began crying the night before she was to ride the bus for the first time (I drove her in on the first day). I don’t want to be alone! she kept sobbing. Drive me in the car! I don’t necessarily have a strong…how shall we say?…compassion quality to me, but this was breaking my heart.

It also came as a huge surprise since she’s been talking about taking the school bus since she was three years old. But I could tell she was tired so I told her we would talk about it in the morning. And after some brief hesitation and one crying spell, by the time she put her sweater on she was back to being excited.

Though she did hold my hand all the way up to the second step of the bus, and only let go when my arm wouldn’t go any further – and I thought this was very sweet.

Putting her on the bus was much more emotional for me than when I took her into class the first day. I’m used to door to door delivery – it’s what I did for preschool, it’s what we do for Sunday school, it was no big whoop. But when that big orange bus swallowed my baby up whole and drove around the corner? There was not only tears, but there was actual sobbing.

My heart swelled with love and pride, but also with fear that she was driving away from me and never coming back. I wanted to wrap her up in my sweater and whisk her away, take her home, and curl up in my bed for a good snuggle. I wanted to snap my fingers so a cartoon maid would appear and sing a happy working song while doing all the now-insignificant chores that always seem to make me so grouchy and emotionally unavailable.

I knew this time would come, and I knew I would feel exactly like this – which is why I was able to get home and move on with my day without pouring myself a margarita (barely).

3 thoughts on “Aaand…she’s off!”

  1. She’s got a great backpack – that will go a long way to a successful school career!

    I remember asking my nephew how his first day of school was a few years back and got NOTHING. Now you can’t shut him up about it!

  2. My boys answer the same way but Hannah, that’s another story. Her first day of Kindergarten was yesterday. She got off the bus and wanted my undivided (meaning eye contact and everything) attention while she told me about playing in the play kitchen. She goes to all day Kindergarten and they have some free time in the afternoon. She was like this after preschool everyday last year too now that I think about it. Usually talking about her friends or the girl that was mean to her etc… Oh, the life of school age children.

  3. Does Ruthie like pink? Wow, I love the outfit coordination. On her and on Karen (24 years ago, that is, for Karen), pink was it for me as a mom. After two sons, I was so HAPPY to put her in pink and purple. Now me myself I hate the colors on me and on a woman (esp. old women in purple since that book came out about being old and in purple).
    My kids never talked as much about school as I thought they would. Brandon, Eric, and Karen were all blessed by having the same awesome Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Erma Yadon, teach them phonics in their first year at Maple Valley Christian School. She had a little paddle, actually two, and one said “Sammy Spank” and “Sally Spank”. I was convinced Brandon, who is like Ruthie in ways, would be connected with “Sammy” but that lady had control over the class in such a loving manner. All 3 kids were avid readers at the end of the year, and Mrs. Yadon looks the same as she did 24 years ago, which is unreal, as she came to Karen and Andre’s wedding 3 years ago this month! Many memories, Jeanie

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