Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Madeline's a Kindergartener!

This morning at 8:05, Madeline walked into Richards Elementary School with hundreds of other kids as a kindergartener. She was proud and prepared -- giddy with excitement as the day approached. She picked out her own outfit, styled her own hair with a new sparkly headband, gobbled her eggs, put on her Keens and strapped on her backpack.

We had a parade all the way to school! Papa and Ning came over at 7:30am, coincidentally on the same morning that they each begin new jobs at Caterpillar! I told Madeline at breakfast that her substitute teacher, Mrs. Demmet, loves giving hugs (Mrs. Opelt is on maternity leave for six more weeks). When my dad made a joke that no one would be giving him hugs on his first day, Charlie burst out of his seat and gave him as big a hug as a three-year-old possibly can.

Now that Madeline's start time is the same as all the other 800 kids at the school (an hour earlier than junior kindergarten), the entire town poured out of their doors and walked the same walk as us -- it was a cheerful, polite mob of double strollers, back packs and younger siblings in tow. It took awhile to find Madeline's class line in the excited crowd, but we did and she slipped in right in front of her little friend, Julia. There was anxiety in her eyes, but she never expressed fear; she boldly marched in, her little curls bobbing until she disappeared up the stairs and around the corner.

That's when I felt a tidal wave of emotion. I let a tear slip and felt my chin trembling, but waited until I got home to cry. Really cry. I cried what some people call the Ugly Cry. Snot, swollen eyes, no more make up, gross noises kind-of-crying. I'm not ready to share my tiny girl with the wider world yet. But she's ready for it. She's filled with wonder, creativity, confidence. She's smart and ready to learn and grow even beyond our safe little home.

She says her first day was great! On our walk home from school this afternoon, we stopped off at the toy store to pick out a charm for her bracelet -- a reminder of her big day. When we got home, the flood gates opened and she told me excitedly about the games they played, listening to the Nutcracker during quiet time and that she got her very own milk in the crowded cafeteria and she wasn't even scared!

We're so proud of you, Madeline. You just won't understand it until you have a kindergartener yourself. Love you, sweet girl. You're a little shining star!
We had an ice cream party the night before to celebrate her first day!

1 comment:

Mollie said...

I can hardly believe it! I remember feeling old in kindergarten. My first strong memories came at that age too. And, boy, will Mads have some good memories with you as a mom!