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Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of First Grade!

We officially have a First Grader in the house!

BJ had a great day today. He woke in a chipper mood, excited for school, excited to put on his new backpack -- excited about everything!

A new backpack! With planets on it! Talk about perfect for this kid!?!

He was definitely rarin' to go.

And in spite of his being Such A Big Kid Now, he held my hand for most of the walk to school. (I remain deeply touched by the fact that he still wants to hold my hand.) But A Big Kid he definitely is. As he informed me, quite seriously, "Mom, I am in a grade now!"

Our walk to school was full of excited chatter and he arrived at school to greet many friends from last year (including his best friend H). We'd been talking about how different it would be this year, about how he was no longer a new kid, and also talking about how there would be one new student in his class -- a boy, A, who had transferred in. (I met his mom S at the work day on Friday.) While we were waiting to go into the classroom, BJ (on his own initiative) figured out who A was and went up to him to say hello and welcome him to the school. Talk about making mama proud! My heart just swelled.

BJ showed no hint of nerves or anxiety at the prospect of the new classroom. His teacher, M, welcomed him by name, which I'm sure helped. She'd mailed a handwritten note to BJ (and I'm sure to every other kid in her class) a week or so ago, saying how much she was looking forward to having him in her class -- and I know that helped too. He was thrilled to get a letter just for him!

So I couldn't have asked for a better beginning to the school year. He gave me a hug and kiss goodbye and walked in to his first grade classroom without a qualm. And it was funny -- all of us parents are so used to tagging along behind the kindergarten kids, so we weren't sure what to do when M started ushering all the first graders into the classroom. The parents had said goodbyes and were hanging around outside the classroom, unsure what to do as the kids went inside, and about 30 seconds after most of the kids had gone in, M stuck her head around the classroom door and said with a big grin, "What? You're going to leave me alone with All These Kids?"

"I think we were just invited inside," I laughed to a fellow mom. So we parents trooped inside, and M informed us that we were welcome to hang out for "a little while," and we did. M had put out several stations for the kids to explore for the first 15 minutes or so, and BJ sat right down to drawing, simply delighted.

Soon his best friend had joined him. As you can see, they take their art Very Seriously.
BJ finished his ocean scene (except for the water, which I was told he would add in later) and then went to talk to his new teacher. He wanted to ask if it was OK to go up into "the bunk" -- the loft play area that you can see behind him at the art table. He is so intrigued and excited about this part of the classroom -- he's mentioned it almost every time he talks about What It Will Be Like In First Grade.

"Not yet," he was told, that part of the classroom was off limits at the moment. But M did agree to let me snap a pic of the two of them.

So he picked a book to read instead. Easy kid to please (this morning at least!)
About 15 minutes into the morning, M gave the parents their cue to leave and called the kids to the rug to get the day started. BJ seemed thoroughly comfortable, completely at his ease. Hooray!

While BJ was doing his First Grade Thing, BB and I had an nice morning out, running errands and then having lunch together at Sweet Tomatoes (her favorite restaurant). It was very sweet to spend some time with my girl. Really treasuring these moments (though I left the camera at home and missed the Kodak moment of her face covered with chocolate ice cream!) and feeling very blessed today.

We picked up BJ from school, and he was just as cheerful and excited as he had been in the morning. By all accounts, he had a fabulous day.

May it continue!

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