Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jessica Starts First Grade

Today, everything changes, even if only a little bit. Today, Jessica starts first grade in Mrs. Elrod's class at J.C. Magill Elementary School.

How did she go so quickly from being this little baby, curled up against her Daddy's chest:

to being this little girl, ready for school?

At the end of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, right before we learn that Christopher Robin is about to start school, the Narrator tells us it's time to say good-bye, and Pooh says, "Oh no, please can't we go back to page one and do it all over again?"

That's how I feel.

* * *

Update, later in the morning: The first-day drop-off is over, and it went fine. Jessica is a little nervous, but also excited, which is exactly how I feel. As we were walking up the sidewalk toward the front of the school, she said, "I can't believe I'm starting a new school!"

There were a lot of parents dropping off kids this morning, of course, but today is the only day they allow that; starting tomorrow, I'll be dropping her off in the car rider lane, which will probably over all be easier, but in some ways harder too.

Here are some pictures from this morning:

(The note she's clutching to her belly is a Hello note she wrote, in case she doesn't feel up to saying hello to her teacher. If you don't know why she might feel that way, look up "selective mutism"--Jessica has it.)

* * *

Another update, at the end of the day: Getting her there this morning went pretty smoothly, but picking Jessica up this afternoon did not. All the car riders are taken to the gym when school is over, which I didn't know (though it wouldn't have affected what I needed to do to pick her up, but I do wish we'd known so we could have prepared her for that). I waited forty-five minutes in the car pool line to pick her up--though I arrived at 3:00, so twenty of those minutes were prior to the official end-time of school--and when I got to the front of the line, she wasn't there. They couldn't find her. Hearing that was among the scariest things I've gone through since the circumstances surrounding her birth and her six days in the NICU.

It turned out that Jessica was in the gym, just where she was supposed to be, but when they called her car-rider number (63), and then later her name, she was too shy or scared or timid (I can't tell which) to come forward. As best I can tell, she was in a corner of the gym crying when they found her. It breaks my heart to think about.

But she got over it more quickly than I did, as is usually the case. She told me lots of stories about the first-day exploits of her classmates (Hannah had to go to the principal's office six times!), at least some of which are probably based in some sort of truth.

I think tomorrow will go better. It can't go worse!

1 comment:

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh, Chris Burdett. I know exactly how you feel. These last eight and six years with my three have flown by. Congratulations, Dad, for living through this first day and for raising such a smart, beautiful, wonderful daughter! :)