My Son’s First Day of School

The grand adventure begins tomorrow, or perhaps I should say that it continues. My eldest is heading off to kindergarten. After much stress and debate we decided to send him to day school. I don’t know who is more excited, him or me.

We spent a big chunk of the day at my folk’s house where we enjoyed a fabulous Labor Day barbecue and talked about what it is going to be like to be in kindergarten. I told him a little bit about my experience and related how it was way back in kindergarten that I met G.

In a corner of the living room my father, grandfather and I shared stories about what school was like for us. The kindergarten classes of 1919, 1948 and 1974 recounted tales that in some ways will not be so different from the class of 2006.

In some ways it was rather surreal how some things never change. I began school a relatively short time before the end of the Vietnam War. My father was a few short years after WWII and my grandfather started during WWI. Not a very impressive comment about people, is it.

Anyhoo……….

We spent a little time getting his school supplies together. There were new kippot to buy, a new backpack, some pants, shirts, a couple of books and some assorted odds and ends. And throughout all of this there was this little smile on his face and a look in his eyes that made it clear that he is aware that this is a big event.

I suspect that tomorrow is going to be hard for me. He is so very big now. I used to carry this little boy tucked into the nook of my arm. I could hold him and pretend to be the Heisman Trophy. But not anymore.

From time to time he still falls asleep in the car and I still get the chance to carry him in to bed. Only now when I hold him I feel his feet dangling against the middle of my legs and at 45 pounds he has metamorphed from a light package to something more challenging. Now on the odd occasions that I have more than a five minute walk from the car to the bed I begin to notice the extra weight.

The baby talk disappeared ages ago. He still makes the occasional mistake. The other day he said that he wanted to be the betterest but the big guy doesn’t ever call me da da anymore. He doesn’t always want to crawl into my lap to play with his toys. Oh, he’ll still do it from time to time but I see the impact of the older brothers and sisters of his friends and I see him weighing things.

He is more cautious about doing things that mark him as being a baby.

Tonight as he lay down to go to sleep he asked me if Grandpa S. knew that he was going to start school. I said that I thought so and he told me that he missed him and I said that I did too. And then he told me that he loved me and asked if I thought that my daddy missed his daddy.

He is really starting to understand it all. He gets that grandpa is not coming back. He told me that he wished that Grandpa was still here because when he learns how to read he wants to read him a story.

I was happy that it was dark because that caught me off guard. My grandfather would have so very much loved to have heard that.

Well, I have rambled and muttered enough. Hold onto your loved ones and hug them tight because time has a way of moving all too quickly.

In a few short hours my little man will walk into class and I’ll head off to work. If I pass you in the parking lot you’ll forgive me if I don’t look up or say goodbye because I think that even though it is a happy day it is going to be a hard moment.

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12 Comments

  1. Pingback: How Many First Days Of School Are There

  2. Jack's Shack September 6, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    MCA,

    There were a number of factors. We felt that it offered a better education than the local public school and that it was also a place in which people cared about his emotional well being too.

    Not that you cannot find that at public school, but it is quite evident here. I intend to blog more on this later.

  3. MC Aryeh September 6, 2006 at 10:35 am

    I feel the bittersweetness just reading this beautiful post. What made you decide on day school in the end?

  4. Jack's Shack September 6, 2006 at 7:07 am

    Chana,

    I went camera and video camera in hand. I looked like a tourist.

    Paivi,

    It is a strange feeling.

    Kasamba,

    Uniforms at four. Wow.

    Chaim,

    I have three years worth of A/C projects he made in preschool. Now I am busy trying to make room for the new set.

    Seawitch,

    The scary thing is I can see how quickly time is going to pass.

    Shoshana,

    It is bittersweet.

    PT,

    Yep, it is day school. Mazal Tov to the PT and her start.

    Hi EK,

    Thank you.

  5. Ezer K'negdo September 6, 2006 at 1:44 am

    Beautifully put and your son has an amazing soul; your grandfather would have loved that comment. I cried when the bus pulled away from the corner! And I hope you got pictures!

  6. PsychoToddler September 5, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    I’m so glad you decided on a Jewish Day School (you did, didn’t you?)!

    The adventure is just beginning…

    (BTW, the PT started K5 last week too).

  7. Shoshana September 5, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    Beautiful. It sounds like it’s hard to let your babies grow up. But good too.

  8. seawitch September 5, 2006 at 12:22 pm

    Your post brought back memories of 15 years ago when my son started school. The sadness and joy all mixed up together.

  9. Chaim September 5, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Amazing post … I know how you feel … when my son started pre-school it was pretty huge. Get ready for tons of arts and crafts projects 🙂

  10. kasamba September 5, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Here in London all kids wear uniforms at four years old! My daughter is starting school next Monday and just buying the teensest uniform reduced me to floods of tears!

  11. -paivi- September 5, 2006 at 10:43 am

    just stumbled upon your blog via friends myogleb* and wanted to share the feeling. Though my firstborn started his daycare today – end of an era for mommy..

  12. Chana September 5, 2006 at 8:52 am

    Awwwww. It’s going to be a wonderful day! Don’t forget your camera. I was a wreck on my daughter’s first day, and I still get teary looking at the pictures. It is a truly special milestone.

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