A major event occurred in my little family recently -- my oldest child, Joellen, went to Kindergarten. It's one of those big events that usually makes both children and parents cry.
I enjoyed talking to one of my former first grade classmates the other day about this rite of passage. She said when her daughter, her oldest child, went to Kindergarten she called her mother, in tears, and said, "Do you know what they do? A complete stranger takes your child away from you for eight hours!!" Her mother replied with equal, yet understanding and perhaps a bit sarcastic, horror, "I know! Can you believe they do such a thing?!"
Thankfully in this relatively small community it wasn't a complete stranger that took my child on that first day. Even if I hadn't had some sort of connection to the teacher and the school employee who helped us at the separation point, we did have the benefit of an open house in the classroom and a visit in our home. There was some small degree of familiarity. That's probably why there weren't any tears that I know of for us on that first day. The most emotion came from Joellen as she was understandably a bit nervous for the big day, but I think she was able to keep that emotion under reasonable control.
My girl and I before she leaves home for her first day of Kindergarten.
In these first days of Kindergarten my biggest concerns are that we make it to school on time and that we turn in all the needed paperwork. I was one school day late on one document, but so far so good on the lack of tardiness. Perhaps the one caveat on that paperwork record came today when Joellen's teacher was undoubtedly perplexed at a document in her backpack. You see, Joellen had asked to pretend with a form I did not need to return. I handed it over and she proceeded to fill it out with who knows what -- she generally writes whatever words she sees. I realized in the afternoon that it was still in her folder, where she had dutifully placed it for return to school. Oops.