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).