....of kindergarten was today. It was a half day, but for me, it was an odd kinda day as i spent most of the five hours of this first half day wondering how in the world it could possibly be that Emma, my little Emma, had grown up enough to be in kindergarten already. I am a stay-at-home Mama, so it's not like i had days that i blacked out (okay, there were some days that i WANTED to black out and not remember like the time i locked a year and half old Emma in the Honda in our garage and the fire department had to come get her out....) of and missed. I have been here...and somehow, this little one of my grew up while i was watching.
Emma attended pre-k, so i was use to her being in 'school'. But for some reason, well, starting kindergarten is different. Maybe because it's the starting point of thinking and acting like a little girl
The Parent Orientation on Tuesday went well for me. We got to meet Emma's new teacher and talk to her a little about Emma and some of the things i thought that it may be important for her to know about Emma. Ms.W is very pretty and very young...it is her second year of teaching. I knew that Emma would love her instantly...and that made me feel a little better. I listened as she explained the 'Behavior Chart' as i almost snickered to myself, remembering how my little pre-k rebel behaved last year. Everyday, your clip starts off on 'green'(in the middle of the chart) which is 'Ready to Learn'. Above green are blue (Great Job!), purple (Great Job!) and Pink (Outstanding!). Below green (which i had a sinking feeling that we would be spending a lot of our time) is yellow (Slow Down!), Orange (Think about it!) and Red (Parent Contact). I tried my best not to look at my husband as i was sure that he was thinking exactly what i was thinking: "Yellow is a pretty color! We'll be happy with Yellow!"....
As i went to pick up Emma from a neighbor's house, she was full of questions about Ella, the doggy that she had played with. I decided that we would talk about school after lunch to get her ready for Thursday, her first half day.
Emma was very interested in her teacher and if i had met any of her new 'friends'. I told her about Ms. W and her new classroom and we chatted a bit about her new behavior chart and how this year would be different than last year. She told me that she just 'knew' she would love her new school and teacher. I prayed that she was right.
This morning, i woke up bright and early to pack her lunch and get her book bag ready. Robert was going to come with us and i was secretly glad. I woke Emma up and she was in a funny mood and very, very excited.
"Tooday is da day, Mommy!! I am gonna go to da big school!! Can Pachi ride wiff me?"
"Of course Pachi can! But first, we have to have some breakfast, brush teeth, potty, get dressed before we even think about leaving. What would you like for breakfast? Peanut Butter Toast or cereal?"
"I wanna hab toast and mwilk, please!"
About this time, i realize that we really ARE going to take her to kindergarten and leave her there with her new teacher. And when i get home, it will be just me and Pickles...no Emma. Pickles will sleep all morning and i'll watch the clock till it's time to get her, i think to myself...
We all pile into the car, almost all of us are excited. (In case you're wondering, it was me who was doing the fake excited thing again...) I'm in the front seat, holding Emma's book bag, remembering the first time i laid eyes on her and how i held her in my arms. I am remembering her instantly falling asleep in my arms as i counted her finger and toes and studied her tiny nose and face. I remember praying over her, asking God to help me be the type of mother that she would need me to be...
"Isabel? We're here!" my husband gushes.
NO! No, i don't want to be here. I don't want to leave her here in school with this new teacher. I want to teach her. I want to spend the day with her! I don't want this teacher to teach her, damn it. I don't care that she is a great teacher and that Emma is going to love her. I don't care how "fun" Ms. W is going to be and how much Emma is going to love school.
I. Don't. Want. To. Let. Go.
Not today. Not yet.
I have issues, yes?
"Come on, Mommy!! I'll carry my lunch bag 'n Pach and you carry my book bag!!"
"How about i throw you back into the car, my little girl, and we go to the zoo instead, together?" i think to myself (which i totally would have done had my husband not had the car keys in his hand).
"Sure, Emme. I'll carry your book bag and you carry your lunch. Hold Daddy's hand, okay?". I somehow manage to sound like a normal Mother and not the loopy, loopy nut-job mother that i'm turning into.
We get into the school and i take a pic by the school mascott. Then, we walk together to the kindergarten wing.....with me walking as slow as possible.
Robert glances at me and i totally ignore him. He's smiling as he's just as excited as Emma is. School and learning are important to Robert. Those things are important to me, too....just not today.
We finally get to the class and i introduce Emma to Ms. W.
"Hi, Ms. W!! I am happy to be here!" gushes my little daughter.
gag, gag...gag. --->that's the sound i'm thinking to myself. I want to scream. Instead, i smile as we find Emma's cubby and then find her seat together. My sweet husband is standing back, watching to see if his wife is going to crack.
"Lwook, Mommy!!! Here's where i gonna sit!!"
'Oh, good!' i think to myself. Emma is sitting at the firs, little table. I can sneak in and grab her and run away with her if i want.
Ms. W is coming towards us. Emma still has Pachi in her arms and before i can open my mouth, my daughter, who never lets ANYONE hold Pachi but us, is introducing Pachi to Ms. W.
"Ms. W, dis is Pachi!" Emma tells her as she holds Pachi out to her.
"oooo, this is Pachi?" Ms. W responds, as she takes Pachi from Emma.
I am speechless. I never am speechless. But right now, i am rooted to the floor, staring at my little daughter, sharing Pachi with her new teacher.
Ms. W leads Emma to her table and Emma sits down. Ms. W gives Pachi back to Emma and says "Thank you so much, Emma, for letting me hold Pachi!"
I'm still standing in the same place, not breathing.
Emma hands Pachi to me and i snap a quick pic of Ms. W and Emma.
I stand there, staring at Emma, feeling tears come to my eyes. A million moments fly through my mind...the first time i held Emma, coming home with her, Emma crawling, Emma pulling herself up, Halloweens, Birthdays, Christmases...kisses and hugs from her. Teaching her songs and how to crack eggs. Teaching her prayers and and painting pictures....
My husband is clearing his throat...and i tell Emma good-bye and that i'll be back to pick her up.
"Bye, Mommy! Hab a good day!" she tells me.
Really, Emma? Really? Have a good day? Don't you know that i'll probably be back in the school parking lot in an hour, waiting for you?
"Have a great day, Emma!" my husband gushes.
I wish he would shut up.
Robert grabs my hand and we walk out of the classroom....and he drives me home. Half way home, i look down and realize that i am still grasping Emma's book bag. I have taken her book bag with me. Robert notices the book bag the same time that i do.
"Really, Isabel?" he asks.
"Oh, it's okay! I'll take it back to her!!" i chirp, finally happy.
"umm, no, sweetie. It's on my way, i'll take it back to her!" he chirps back.
Only five hours till i get Emma back.