My boy is five years old, going to kindergarten, and ready to conquer the world. Ever since preschool graduation, Luke has been talking about kindergarten and counting down the days until he could start school. He is such an enthusiastic learner and so eager to please that we've known that school would be such a fantastic adventure for him. Over the past few weeks we have been getting ready, new clothes, new back pack, and finally a new haircut which he absolutely loves.
Kindergarten has its own back to school open house the night before the first official day of class. We had met Luke's teacher, Mrs. Arney, a few days earlier at his assessment and Luke was so excited that she would be his teacher. He just kept telling me how nice she is and how much she liked him. At the open house, Luke loved showing Tim and Ruby around his classroom, and especially introducing them to his new teacher. We were able to meet a few friends in his class and see where he would sit.
After the open house we went to The Brick Oven to have a celebration dinner. Luke said that he wanted pizza and I thought it would be a perfect place because I have so many memories of going there with my parents to celebrate birthdays and other special events. We talked a lot at dinner about school starting and how happy we were for all of Luke's good choices. Of course, we had to finish the dinner with M&M cookies to complete the celebration. When we got home Tim gave Luke a blessing to help him feel confident and ready for school. Luke is so sweet because he kept thanking Tim for giving him such a nice blessing. We finally made it to bed with big dreams for the next day.
I have had a really hard time with the idea of Luke starting school, and have done everything possible to will time into slowing down just a little. It is so heartbreaking for me to feel one phase of our lives ending and Luke now being part of the big school world. I know how critical it is for him to learn, and grow, and have new experiences, but I wish I could just keep him in our safe little bubble for a little while longer. I have really tried to be so excited for Luke and not let him know how hard his starting school has been for me because really - it shouldn't be about me. So, on the morning of his first day as a kindergartener, I had a good cry on my own, then hurried home mid morning to be a part of his first big day. By the time I got home, he was already dressed - he had been begging Tim since he woke up to put on his new school clothes - so we fixed his hair, and went outside to take some pictures. The day was so exciting that Luke was happy to smile big for the camera.
We are lucky to live so close to the school and Luke was determined to ride his bike beginning day one. As he sped off on his bike and Tim and I chased behind, begging him to slow down, I laughed and what an appropriate metaphor it was for the place we were in our lives - Luke so excited to grow up and Tim and I wishing we could hang onto our baby a little longer.
We arrived quite early which left plenty of time to play, make one last trip to the bathroom, and take a picture with Luke's friend Katie who is in his class. When it was time to say goodbye, he gave a big hug and a wave and happily left to be with his class. School has been in for a few days and his excitement over kindergarten and Mrs. Arney haven't even begun to dull. Luke loves everything about it and tells me he is one of the best (behaved) kids in the class. We are so excited for the school year and can't wait to hear every last detail of the fun.