Thursday, August 27, 2009

School and three little words.....

"Serious learning with Daddy",
Mommy & Margo walking to school
First Day outfit,

Meeting my teacher

Margo has been in school 4 days in a row, tomorrow is Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday, when she gets to sleep in. That is what we talked about as we walked home today. Gee she learned that concept early. In many ways the first part of this week went by as a blur, so I shall try and tell her story of the first and second day of school. Why those two days, you may ask? Those two days are the most important times of her elementary educational journey. Really, the first day is for the parents, more than the child, and the second day is just about her.

We all woke up at 6:45 AM on Monday morning. Mark, her daddy had taken the day off to participate in the traditional sending off of the child to school. Of course we had no tradition to follow, but decided to start the process with Kindergarten. We heard the alarm turn off, and the pitter- patter of little feet, soon to be jumping into our bed for the prescribed snuggle time. Yes it went a little longer than I expected, but that was fine. I raced little Margo to see who would get dressed first, (the right motivation for focus is to win the race,) and she joyfully won. Next, we ate breakfast, as a family. Now that was a little wild, because daddy was playing with the doll at the table...and yes you guessed it, she was not eating. I soon realized I not only had to get Margo focused on the job of eating, but her daddy as well. This was done by removing the object of fun from the table, and quietly letting the adult offender know, he is not making this process easy by playing at the table! We do not want to be late, now do we?

It was at this point, I realized I was up-tight. But what about, I mean I already successfully passed kindergarten, and was a successful Explorer Preschool mom, but why was I nervous and emotional? Teeth brushed, hair styled with curls, bible reading and some praying together and we are out the door, walking to school for real. We arrive, line up and wait.

Mrs. Bridgford comes out and begins to kneel in front of every child to introduce herself to them, shakes their hand and welcomes them to class. Next she rises and meets the attending parent. Ok, I am thinking, she is friendly to the kids, and talks to them at their own level, to make them feel comfortable. Great, this is the teacher for Margo. Such a simple gesture brought a sense of calm to my heart.

We all enter the class room at the sound of the bell, and the kids sit on the rug in their own little spot. At first Margo is sitting in the back, but then when the teacher beckons some of the kids to move forward, she arises and sits in the very first row. I am thinking this is great, (did you know kids who sit in the first row get higher grades, and learn more), hopefully this means Margp will be less distracted by the other kids. Yes I really thought all of that in one minute or so. Mark and I were very proud of our little daughter. Not that she did much of anything else at that group time, but we are the doting parents. (Poor girl).

The parents’ time in the kindergarten room ended with an opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt with our own child. This allowed all of us to get to know the class rooms, (yes there is a separate craft area), and restrooms etc...We also were able to help our children feel comfortable in their new learning environment. But I really think it was for the parents. The kids were all having a great time; we were the ones stressing to get through the list before the lights went out.

The final 45 minutes were spent in the assembly hall listening to the principal discuss her philosophy for the school. RESPECT, that is the philosophy of the school, so we figure all will be well here with little Margo.

We go back to the class room and pick up our little ones, relieved the first day is over. We say our goodbye's to the others in the class, exchange a few names and phone numbers and walk home. So Margo, did you like school? Did you say anything to the teacher? "I love you" was her response. What Margo? "I said I love you to the teacher, really quietly". Did she hear you Margo? What did she say back? "Thank you", and again there was that big Margo smile, showing there was something treasured in her heart. Three little words, "I love you," spoken to her teacher, and I knew all would be well.

The adventure day, ended with a trip to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, and dinner at a restaurant. Mark and I were totally emotionally drained. We decided we were drained, because we just let our daughter go. Kindergarten is a different letting go, then preschool. I am not sure why. Perhaps it is because their long journey through education begins here. Or it could be that we won't be able to watch what happens the next day, it is a goodbye from the outside with a little wave.

Day two, we arrive at school with a bit of time for Margo to play in the playground. I think every parent is lined up pressed against the fence, three rows deep, watching their children play at a distance. Others are in the open area, outside the door, holding their kids, or really their kids holding them. I think the kids knew this was really the first day of school, no mommy, no daddy around to give them a high five, or to run to when they accomplished some wonderful task of learning. We wave to the kids’ goodbye, as they walk in a line into their kinder classroom.

Five hours later, we return, all waiting under the eaves, away from the windows to the class room so as not to disturb the kindergarten class. At 1:45 pm, the doors open, and the children are allowed to leave one by one, if they see their parent. Ah ha, there she is, my little Margo, beaming when she sees me. She has a superstar tag, as do all the other little ones, but she is so proud of that star! (To date we now have three super stars.)

We begin our walk home, and I try to understand what she did today in class. She "...played, and played, and got to play with the dinosaurs, but the doll house is not open yet," Margo said. "Mommy today was better then yesterday!" Better then yesterday, the words I had encouraged her with earlier in the morning. "No worries mom, not for me," was some additional chatter.

Margo arrived home very hungry, so I opened her lunch and found most of it in tact. I served it on a plate with a fresh glass of milk, and soon learned she had to play, and did not have time to eat. This is something I have grown to expect since that second day. So our time together after school starts with Margo eating her lunch and telling me about her day. It is nice, it is simple and it is all good.


  1. I'm so glad she had such a wonderful first week of school! That's truly wonderful that she's so excited, ready and doing so well.

  2. Great job capturing Margo's first week. I got tears in my eyes as I remember my kid's first days of kindergarten. Watch out, the time speeds by and neck breaking speed.