Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh, the places she'll go...

As I've mentioned a handful of times now, Chloe's first day of kindergarten was August 10th.  It was a bittersweet day (more sweet than bitter), but I kept it together pretty well all things considered.  I was kind of a mess the night before just trying to get everything ready and best prepare myself for the following morning's events.  After tossing and turning in bed for several minutes, I finally got up and had a good, long needed cry.  It felt great, honestly, and as I sat and cried some more, I reminisced about my baby girl and about how quickly the last five and a half years had passed by.  Then I put my thoughts on paper and wrote Chloe a letter.  I am so glad I did that.  The words came flowing probably due to the overabundance of emotions filling my heart.  The tears and the letter did the trick because when I was finished I crashed.  Next thing I knew it was morning.  As I lay in bed starring up at the ceiling, I said to myself, "I will remember this day for the rest of my life." 

Neil had to work in Sacramento early that morning so he missed out on all the first day of school festivities, which was a serious bummer.  Chloe and Ryan were still sleeping when he had to take off, so he stopped in Chloe's room to give her a kiss and wish her well before slipping out.  I managed to get Chloe's lunch made and packed between the time Neil left and Chloe came downstairs. 

{I found this cute printable here, and just couldn't resist.  Even though Chloe's still learning to read and wasn't likely to get it, I knew she'd still be excited to find a little treat in her lunch.}

When Chloe came downstairs she was already dressed and wearing one of the biggest grins I've ever seen.  Clearly she was excited and ready for this day she'd been anticipating for months and months.  She was absolutely darling to watch.  The first thing she said to me was, "Daddy kinda woke me up when he came and kissed me."  Then, over the course of the next half hour she said about six different times, "I can't believe it's my first day of school!"

Here's a little video clip I took before we headed out.


And here are the pictures.  Yes, the many, many pictures. As usual, I went overboard.

The (bent) sign should read "Ms. Huff", not "Miss Huff".  Oops.  Look at how cute my babies are!

I love their expressions, especially Ryan's.  I don't think he really had a clue what was going on.

Arriving to school, just about to walk into the classroom!  Chloe was so excited to see a star on the door with her name on it!  Pictured to the right is Chloe with her new friend, Kaya.

Ms. Huff took a picture of each child sitting in this chair before class started, so it was only logical that I take a picture of her sitting in the chair too (because I hadn't already taken about a hundred pictures).  To the right, Chloe sits quietly at her place at the table, ready to go!

By this point I think Chloe had had about enough with the camera.  I couldn't blame her, but I also couldn't help myself.  So I kept clicking away. 

Here Chloe stands in line just after the bell has rung.  That's Ms. Huff on the right, greeting every child individually before heading into the classroom.  She does that every single morning.  Isn't that neat?

And one last shot of my Chloebug standing in line.  It was around this time that she said to me, "K, Mom.  It's time for you to go now." 

I watched as Chloe followed her classmates into Room 1.  Then I watched the door shut behind them.
Then I stood there for a few seconds longer and just stared at the classroom.  I'm not sure if I was waiting for something else to happen or what, but it was in that moment that I realized I wasn't dreaming, that I was really living Chloe's first day of kindergarten, and that, so far, I'd survived it.

To celebrate my survival (HA!), Ryan and I stopped at the donut shop here in Ripon.  It was pretty cool hanging out with my little man, and it made me excited for all the future mornings we'd be spending together, just the two of us.

Ryan didn't seem initially affected by Chloe's absence, but once we got home he started asking, "Where's Chloe?"  Neither one of us seemed to know what to do with ourselves.  It was bizarre to say the least.  Luckily 1:50 arrived quickly and it was time to go pick her up.

Though I didn't get much information out of her, Chloe had a great first day and seemed really happy.  Upon arriving home, she had a little snack while I interviewed her.  She seemed to really enjoy answering the questions, and even suggested that in addition to the many favorites I'd listed, that I include her favorite shape.  And so I did!

It was a memorable day for sure, and I am already looking back on it with tenderness.  Now that we're three weeks in I can honestly say I'm seeing big changes in Chloe.  She is growing up more and more every day and I am just beyond proud.  This will probably sound terrible but this whole transition has worked wonders for our relationship.  Being away from her for six hours every day has given me the opportunity to miss her.  My patience level has increased tremendously as well, and I have felt many tender mercies.  It's just been a great thing all around.

I also just adore Chloe's teacher.  With all the recent budget cuts, classes have increased in size by an average of 50%.  Chloe's class contains 28 students and Ms. Huff doesn't even have an aide!  It's terrible.  I feel for her but have been so impressed with how she's managed to stay on top of things.  She is loving and affectionate but firm too - just the combination these little munchkins need.  I can't wait to help out in the classroom and suspect I'll have many opportunities!

One last thing I wanted to share are these pictures I dug up the other night.  Just thought it was appropriate given this special milestone.  Weren't we cute little kindergartners?

Happy Kindergarten, darling Chloe! We can hardly wait to see all the things you do and all the places you go!  We love you!


Amanda V said...

how adorable!! I absoultely love the dress and lunch note...oh and those kindergarden pictures at the end...perfect!!! :)

Cristi said...

aww! so sweet!

Wendy said...

What a great post. You documented this so well. Chloe will be so happy to have this one day.

It is bittersweet that our babies are in kindergarten. As I drove away after taking Chase to his first day, the tears just started flowing and I couldn't make them stop. I can't even imagine if we were to have done this together...haha!

It's neat, though, that you and Ryan now get that one-on-one time that you and Chloe already had.

And, love the pictures at the end.