Here we are, the end of another summer and the start of Kindergarten. There has been a lot of excitement, nervousness, early mornings and long days this week. For me, it feels like everything we've been doing for the past 5 years has been about preparing for this change, to grow and raise a kid who can stand on his own and be ready for the bigger world.
He looks pretty ready to me.
Leading up to the official start of Kindergarten there were a lot of days spent getting ready for this big transition and I think we were all ready just to get going. Jonas had a week of half-day Jump Start program which gives the incoming Kindergarteners run of the school without the other kids tromping around. It also lets the teachers suss out the kids and form their classes. Jonas' class has 23 kids and one great teacher. We already love Ms. Stenberg. I think having a teacher that Jonas liked immediately has made starting school so much easier.
On the first full day of Kindergarten, we were waiting for the morning bell to ring, chatting with the other families we knew from the neighborhood. In fact, 2 familes we know from our PEPS group are at the school and Jonas shares a cubby with one of them in his classroom. It made it easier for me to already have familar faces to connect with and trade tips and information with, since I tend to be more reserved around new people. So we're all on the playground waiting when the 7:50 bell rings (quite loudly). In a flash, Jonas started running to line up, but he wasn't going in the right direction. Nick and I had to chase him down and remind him where his class lines up now that he is in Room 2. He was so eager to fall into place and was probably lining up where his group met during the Jump Start Program. Every morning when we've arrived at school, he goes right to his line, ready for work.
He's been full of conversation about school and already learned a lot about the social aspects of school (sometimes the hard way, when he's been excluded from play by an older kid). Part of the letting go is knowing that he has all the tools to deal with other kids and stand up for himself on the playground. Still it is hard to see him feeling sad or left out, knowing that I can only help from a distance by talking with him about his challenges. He's a sensitive kid and I think once he finds the other kids he fits with, then his days at school will be even better.
Personally, I have been relishing the time I've been given back by the start of school. There have been morning walks, coffee shop visits and a few hours to spend on sewing. I made Jonas these blue pants for his first day of school, and as a test run for some trousers I'm going to make to outfit him for my brother's wedding next month. I have quite a list of sewing and knitting projects that I want to get going on and my newfound free time will not be spent idly. I've also taken on my own PEPS group on Mondays -- helping a group of new moms through those hard first months. My first meeting was also on Jonas' first day of school and seeing all those tiny babies made me feel that I had come full circle in the first part of my parenting experience.
We have certainly moved on from that phase, with a twinge of sadness, but mostly with a lot of excitement for what comes next.