Monday, August 26, 2013

The First Day of 3rd Grade: The Unscripted Version





Today was the first day of school and of course like most parents I had the 'flow' of the morning already mapped out in my head. Well, of course things don't always go as we plan and this morning was one of those times. 

So my vision/plan for the morning's events were as follows:  

The night before I was going to write his lunch box note, prep his lunch, label folders and put supplies in his backpack.  Then I was going to set his place at the table with placemat, napkin, fork and glass in anticipation of him sitting there to eat. My plan also included starting this blog with a 'Eve of Third Grade' post. The morning of I was going to wake up an hour before him to get myself ready, finishing putting together his lunch, start breakfast and then wake him up. We'd sit and have breakfast together, talk about how we were feeling and then head to before school.  We were going to head to the before school program (at a location different from school), say good morning and then his father and I were going to walk him to school to greet his teacher and take the traditional first day of school pictures with his teacher.   

Here is the actual sequence of events:

I did the note, prepped lunch and supplies and set his place at the table. I did start the blog but after a long day that included completing a 5K obstacle race, doing my hair, going to a farewell drop in and then getting all of his things together, I was exhausted and feeling overwhelmed, so the post got cancelled. I did wake up on time, got ready, went to wake him up and here is where my plan started to unravel.....

     ME: "Wake up, it's time to get ready for the first day of 3rd grade (I started being silly singing song from his summer program). Get up and come to the table to eat breakfast."
     HIM: "I don't want to eat breakfast, I'll just get dressed."
     ME: "No, you need to eat something, at least eggs and bacon."
     HIM: "I'll just have bacon."
     ME: "No, you need to at least eat some of the eggs."
     HIM: "Fine." (Rolls out of bed, shuffles to the bathroom and then comes to the table)......"I want to eat on the balcony."
     ME: (Blank stare) "Ok" (It was quite enjoyable to eat outside and enjoy the fresh air)

We headed to before school and before entering took a quick first day of school picture before he walked inside.  We greet the director and talk about our summer and he goes to talk to the other children.  Dad arrives for us to all walk to school and then here is where things took another left turn:

HIM: "Mom and Dad, it isn't necessary for you all to walk me to school, I'm going to take the van with the rest of the kids so you all can leave and go to work now. Bye." (He does an about face and goes back to socialize with his friends)       
 US: *Blank stares, faces crash to the floor, we stood frozen in disappointment and hurt pride* "Uhhh, ok, well um give us a hug and a kiss, and umm, have a great day. Ummm, errrr, remember what we said, we, uh, love you" 
PROGRAM DIRECTOR: "I wish I could take a picture of your faces right now"

It was one of those moments that remind you that your child is no longer a baby, but a young person with a maturing personality and growing sense of independence. So of course I'm thinking about the picture that was supposed to be taken, but quickly realized that this ritual was only going to last but so long.  It's not like he was going to be ok with us taking pictures with him in school on the first day up through high school.  I gathered my emotions, got in the car and went to work.  The pomp and circumstance was about me and my emotions, definitely not as important as preparing him for a successful year academically and emotionally.  Throughout the day I joked with my co-workers about how we were dismissed by our 8 year old son but my bruised ego, still feeling a little hurt kept thinking about that picture...... So my ego popped up at school right before dismissal, stood outside the classroom, asked the teacher if it was ok to get a quick picture of them together and then we left to head to swim lessons. Fortunately he didn't express feelings of embarrassment or displeasure by the surprise visit. Well, he had the last laugh for the day.  Since we arrived early I decided to join a HIIT class and had him sit on the side playing with my iPad.  As I started to show signs of struggle he began to yell out, "Get your knees up! Go faster! Are you supposed to be taking a break?" and a few other comments from the peanut gallery.  Imagine my tickled surprise when I later found out that he also recorded some of the class and I'll just say that the footage of me would be used for the 'Before' portion of a workout success story.  *_*

Scripted or unscripted, the first day of school was a great one.....he had favorable things to say as well.  I guess I should stop typing and start prepping lunch for tomorrow and write his lunchbox note......it's 12:54 am, maybe I can just plan in my head as I'm getting ready for bed, hope I remember when I wake up and do it all in the morning. 

I just realized that I didn't cry....I guess he isn't the only one with a developing sense of independence.