We made it. Reed has officially had his first day of kindergarten! I was a hundred times more nervous than he was, and after telling him goodbye in a very falsely cheerful voice as he walked into class with hardly a backward glance (oh, his bravery), I put my head down on the steering wheel and cried like a baby for about five minutes. :) I watched the clock like a hawk the whole time he was gone, and left fifteen minutes early to pick him up.
As the children poured out of their classrooms, I momentarily mistook the fifth-graders for kindergarteners, and then realized that Reed (and most of the other kids his age) are smaller. Much smaller. He seems too small (too young) to be going to school (to be doing all this growing-up stuff). But only to me. He was very mature about the whole thing, wearing a rather seventeen-year-old expression of pride the whole time. On our way to his classroom, he was talking very animatedly about how if we found pirate treasure right now, it would probably be moldy and covered in cobwebs and spiders, and asking me if I think there might still be pirate treasure hidden somewhere (yes). (*Possible pirate treasure and the existence of aliens are two ongoing subjects at our house. I prefer to believe that there are aliens, but that they're not necessarily as TV portrays, and Reed prefers to think that they don't exist at all, or if they do exist, then they'd better have families and happy lives.) I remember I could hardly STAND to think of anything BUT what was ahead of me when it was my first day. He's just so brave. *sigh* I know. I'm awfully sentimental and moony right now. Haven't I every right to be, though? The ball has started rolling, and it just won't stop....elementary...junior high....high school....college....mission...and on and on.
But really, don't get me wrong--I'm so excited for him. I'm excited for his progress, I'm excited for him to have some outlet for his incredibly active mind, and I'm excited to see how he grows through this next year. I'm proud of him! Proud of the wonderful little person he is becoming, proud of his ability to adjust to all these various parts of growing up.
Sidenote: Jaxon missed Reed excrutiatingly. He was sobbing the entire way home, "I don't want to go home!!" and then cried in my arms for a few more minutes when we got home. When I brought out the Legos for him to play with--this was the first time he's played with them all by his lonesome--he was torn between loyalty to Reed and excitement for having it all to himself. He sort of wandered aimlessly with the Legos, brightening up to tell me a few "Guess what--chicken butt" jokes. I'm sure he'll grow to love these hours alone....eventually.
Reed said to me on the way out to the car when I picked him up, with some chagrin, "Mom, I didn't say anything the whole day. I didn't talk! Or play. I was very, very quiet." He seemed perplexed by himself. :) I said, "Well, were you doing that because you were supposed to be quiet? Or did you not know what to say?" And he answered, "I had no words." (Boy, do I know the feeling!) And later, more contemplatively, "Mom, we didn't play. It was sort of boring. We just ate cookies and didn't talk." And then about ten minutes later, it was like a floodgate was opened, and he regaled me with stories of how hilarious his teacher is, how he got to make a soup, how they talked about families, etc. All in all, he was happy about his day. Still feeling it out, though, this whole kindergarten process. His teacher's name is Mrs. Bryner. He refers to her--for now--as Mrs. Brainer. I can't bring myself to correct him yet. It's too funny. And kind of sweet. :)
The funny thing about these pictures is that although in some of them he looks unsure, he's actually quietly begging me to stop taking photos so we can go. After a while, he sighed and said, "Mom, I want to go to school. Can we be done?"