Thursday, August 23, 2012

Squirrel is a Kindergartener!

So, mommy heartbreak:
My little girl, my sweet little Squirrel, is in Kindergarten!
{First Day of Kindergarten! 8/22/2012}


I'm grateful she has done preschool the last couple of years, or I would have been a tremendous mess. She, however, was out of her mind excited.
The night before, she told me, "I am SO excited to go to Kindergarten, I might cry. In fact, my eyes are watering right now thinking about it!" She seriously is a-DOR-able. And she really was that happy, just giddy with anticipation and bubbling over.

{Here she is, demonstrating her excitement right before line up.}
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Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

While I am endlessly grateful to have a child that is just joyful about pretty much everything, a teeny tiny part of my heart was a bit broken that she didn't have any trepidation marching off to school, hopping in line, and happily entering public education with barely a kiss goodbye. I'm so happy she's happy...but there's something about wanting a bit of reliance on me too.

I will say, she pays me back every day at the end of school when she comes running at me with enough force to cause injury, calls "MOMMY!!!!" and jumps into my arms, usually full of things to tell me, with great detail, about her day. She is making friends, learning songs, and enjoying every minute of it, and for that I am truly grateful.

She's also working hard. The second day of school, she came home EXHAUSTED. She barely made it home without falling asleep and just crashed on the couch. She told me, "School is hard. It made me tired. All we did was walk around looking for the Gingerbread Man." (Apparently, this was some kind of get-to-know-the-school activity.) We talked about how school is sometimes hard because it helps our brains grow. I'm hoping to instill a love of that brain exercise. I'm not sure how I got it, but I sure hope I can pass it on to her.

This week, she also turned in her first homework assignment--a poster board sheet that could be filled however she wanted for an "About Me" display. She worked really hard on it--she wrote a list of things she likes or that are important and then she drew pictures or colored ones she looked on the internet for of the things on her list. She did a great job and was SO proud of it. But, when I picked her up, she frantically and emphatically informed me that we HAD to make another as SOON as we got home...this one for keeps. I guess I failed to explain that homework--especially the kind that you put a lot of effort into--usually gets kept by the teacher. It's funny, the lessons they learn that we take for granted. I wonder when I learned that lesson, and if it affected me, but there isn't a lot I remember from then.

My only real memories of Kindergarten are these:
1) Learning how to round corners with scissors when making a bear's face out of brown construction paper. And I must say, rounding corners with scissors is a valuable skill I still use and am thankful for.

2) Frantically working to finish a 26-letter project that required cutting pictures out of magazines that start with each letter. I guess I was supposed to have been doing one each week all year and pretty much didn't. If my memory serves me (doubtful), I think it was a requirement to pass on to 1st grade. Thankfully, I got it done and quite well. I am still skilled in the art of procrastination and tell myself that "I work best under pressure."

3) Sitting in a circle for show-and-tell when this one kid brought in a stapler. Though probably not in my vocabulary at the time, I'm pretty sure my thoughts amounted to the equivalent of "lame" while he explained its use and began to pass it around. I feigned interest and passed it along. Then another kid put the stapler on the ground, inserted his finger, and STAPLED HIS FINGER--the staple went right through the nail. I remember watching him as he was about to do it, knowing exactly what the outcome would be, and thinking what an idiot he was. And then, when he began screaming bloody murder and Mrs. Wamsley, my teacher, took him into the bathroom to remove the staple and clean him up, again thinking what an idiot he was. Apparently, I understood cause and effect better than some of my peers, and maintained a high degree of skepticism even then, something I still value about my personality.

I wonder what memories Squirrel will carry with her from this experience? Hopefully, she'll take away a few valuable lessons--perhaps some more meaningful than mine. Either way, she's having a blast, and I'm grateful we live in such a wonderful area with a great school so I have less apprehension about sending her off. And besides, how can you worry too much when they are THIS excited to be learning?

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