And because I'm so organized, look at the LOVELY site I chose for these pictures.
The kids' teeth are brushed, hair looks relatively tidy, and their clothes are clean.
That's enough for me.
Here's the big boy first.
He's not really nervous. He's just a ham.
Yeah, see? Everything's fine. He's a veteran now.
That's probably the most realistic shot - he's mid-sentence.
We arrived at the school, found the class lists and then headed over to where the kids were all lining up according to their teacher. He's with some of the same kids as last year, but not two of the ones he was hoping to be with. But he'll be fine. I stood there with Julia, lined up with most of the other parents, and we all basically hung out chatting with other parents and staring at our children. The students were lined up against the brick walls of the building. Alex was trapped between two girls.
After several minutes, his new teacher came down the line, asking each child his or her name and checking them off on her clipboard. Pretty soon after that they turned and followed her into the school.
I don't know why, but there's something about dropping Alex off that makes me well up in a way that doesn't happen with Julia. Why is that? Because he's my firstborn? Because he's a quieter, sensitive little man? I don't know. But it happens. And it happened today. Just a bit. I wanted to run over and give him one more fierce hug.
But I'd have had to knock over a bunch of other parents, so I restrained myself.
Now this one...
She didn't have to go in until later, so after we dropped Alex off, we came home for a bit and then went to visit my parents (and to get fish - Dad went on a charter trip on Monday and had some striper and bluefish for me - yum!). Julia was happy to go visit, but every so often she'd ask if it was time to leave.
To say Julia's been looking forward to this day would be akin to saying Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen a couple of bases this season.
* She's been counting down the days, of course.
* Yesterday she was bound and determined to tie her own sneakers. She's never expressed a desire to do this before, and Alex only just really got the hang of it this summer. But she sat there on the floor with her new pink converse sneakers on, working on manipulating those uncooperative laces with her stubborn fingers.
Every so often I'd be asked to help, but she didn't actually want me to TOUCH the laces. She wanted me to just tell her how to do it. Which, as you may or may not know, isn't all that easy.
Every time I ended up touching the laces - "Just so I can SHOW you, Julia, I'm not REALLY tying your shoes!" - she'd put her head on her knees and spend some quality time with her own frustration and misery. Then she'd lift her head up and try again.
Eventually she was SOOOOOOOO close to success, and I only meant to just show her that you need to kind of pinch the lace here and poke it through that loop there...but she'd had enough. I had touched her laces one too many times, and she STILL hadn't mastered it (all this in the span of half an hour), and she just burst into angry sobs.
She stayed that way - on the kitchen floor (I was making dinner) - until dinner was on the table and she'd kind of run out of energy for crying. I managed to make her laugh (don't remember how) and she was fine after that.
* Last night, when it was time for bed, Bill said something like "And tomorrow you finally get to start Kindergarten!" and she shouted excitedly "I'm gonna learn EVERYTHING!"
* She was up at 4:00 this morning. "When do I get to go?" I got her back in bed at 5 or so, and a bit later, when Bill and I were having coffee before he had to leave, she came in and asked again, "When do I get to go?"
When we brought Alex in, she was very disappointed that she didn't get to stay.
She also asked me how long she'd be going to that school, and I said 7 years, and she thought about that a bit and then said "You mean I'm going again TOMORROW?" So excited. Then later she thought it meant she'd get to go to kindergarten for 7 years, so I got that sorted out with her.
* At long last, it was time to really and truly GO. I had her brush her teeth again, I brushed her hair again, checked her face for traces of lunch, made sure there were no cat hairs on her backpack (one of the cats has been sleeping on it all summer. I'm a terrible housekeeper.), got my camera and we went outside so I could do HER first day pictures.
So here they are.
In Alex's pictures I had him stand so he was blocking where the cement is chipping off on our stairs. Didn't think to do that with Julia. Oops.
She's not excited. Not at all.
When we arrived at the school, some of the other parents and kindergarteners were already there, including two of Julia's little friends. Soon the three of them were huddled together, comparing pink elements in their respective ensembles, and staring suspiciously at the group of BIG kids that had come outside for some reason. (They were in a line, and with a teacher. I think they were 4th graders.)
Anyway, I heard Julia say to the other two "Did you know big kids pick on little kids?!" And one of the other girls said "So don't look at them. Don't look at the BIG kids. Only look at other LITTLE kids!" And then the "big" kids turned and marched back into the school, and I heard one of the girls whisper "Good, they're gone now!"
Conversation returned to pink things, as another little girl joined their group.
And then it was time for them to go inside and begin school.
I kissed Julia (again) and she smiled and raced away.
My big girl.