Today was the first day of Grade One for Aimee.
She had her outfit all picked out last night and her gym shoes all packed in her backpack. This morning, she woke us up at 6:30 in a fantastic mood. She positively leapt into her clothes and for the first time in her little life, she brushed her hair and washed her face without protest. We walked her to school and she lined up with her class voluntarily. Today, there were no tears, no histrionics, no teacher earning her paycheck by peeling a wailing child off her parent’s leg. She just hugged and kissed us, and marched up the steps behind the teacher, waving as she went in. She even smiled.
It is amazing how much she matured in Kindergarten. I wonder if it was nature or nurture; even two or three months before kindergarten, she would have preferred to have her fingernails ripped out to being separated from us in a new situation. Kindergarten took two weeks of tears and anguish at the start of each day before she was comfortable enough to relax and have fun. Yesterday, a short year later, the eye doctor actually asked if she was Gifted (haha), because she was so outgoing with him. Who are you, and what have you done with shy little Aimee, I asked. This morning, there was a little hair and finger chewing, but mostly, she was calm, confident, and unfazed. I can’t decide if I am relieved for her positive state of mind, or mourning for her infancy. At least now she won’t be the smallest kid, literally, in the school (in Kindergarten, when they did those math-readiness exercises like lining up in order of height, she was always at the short end). In her class, yes, but I know for a fact there are new kindergartners smaller than Aimee. And it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to her anymore, now that she is in Grade One.
Unfortunately, Jack didn’t fare so well. With a January birthday, he was cheated of the opportunity to go to Kindergarten this fall. All his best buddies have gone, even though most are not even months older than Jack. He was not pleased with the situation; he cried like his heart would break when we dropped him at daycare. Even playing up the you’ll-be-the-biggest-kid-in-daycare card didn’t improve his mood. Thank goodness for skilled child care staff; they managed to get him in the zone. Now our biggest task will be to keep our kindergarten-ready child challenged until the school division planets are in alignment and he is granted access to the hallowed halls of academia. He wants to learn guitar… maybe we’ll investigate that. Hey, maybe his band will be my in with Dave Matthews when T leaves me for a nubile blonde with a convertible during his mid-life crisis.
And now I’m off to waste some grown-up time before we pick them up. I can’t wait to see how they both did, although I have every confidence it will be fine.