First Day Of School Tears

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Collin just got on the bus for preschool. I know I said I was going to throw confetti and have a party on the sidewalk when the bus picked him up for his first day of school- the kid has been driving me crazy all summer! But I cried a little. He looked so little sitting in that big bus and kind of scared, timid, unsure- totally NOT Collin. I know he will be fine. This isn’t his first year of preschool so I was surprised when the unexpected tears sprouted. (You can read about his first year of preschool here.)

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I didn’t think I was going to be this way this year, all sentimental and teary eyed. I did this last year for Collin and this is my fourth time for Bradley, so I’m experienced, almost a pro at sending the kids off to school. I have been reading friends’ facebook posts and looking at their pictures and hearing their stories about the first day of school and I was rather cocky, I am so not going to be that crying mom. I’m ready for all of my kids to go to school and get out of the house! Well, that’s what I thought…but I guess no matter how you feel or think you feel at the time, it’s still hard seeing them grow up.

bradley first day of second grade

Bradley had his first day of school last week. Second grade!! When we were walking up to the building I had him stop so I could take his picture. “Mom,” he said, all embarrassed. “Just let me take your picture once and give me a hug and kiss, otherwise I will do it when you are standing in line with your friends,” I warned. He complied. And after the bell rang and I was in my car…yep, you guessed it. A few unexpected tears leaked out. Maybe because he’s getting so big and I can actually embarrass him now. I used to be so awesome. These changes are hard. (You can read about his first day of Kindergarten here.)

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But at least he gets to have a cool ride home on Wednesdays. Thanks again, Grandpa Russ!

Two down and two to go. Just a few more years and ALL of my kids will be in school. YIKES!

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For now Elsie and Mallie are content watching for their brother’s bus to come home. Soon enough they will be ready to go off to school too. That will be a double whammy!

When in the world do the tears stop for the first day of school? Will I still cry when my kid walks into junior high, high school?

And why am I the one crying?! Why aren’t they crying for their dear ol’ mom? Oh, well. Guess I’m lucky on that one. It would be even harder if they cried too.

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Kindergarten Graduation

I didn’t think I was going to cry today. It was Bradley’s last day of school, not that big of deal. Nothing like sending him away for the first day of kindergarten, which you can read about here. But I cried. I couldn’t help it.

The little kid chairs were lined up in front of the stage. A large yellow paper sign was pinned onto the stage curtains.

Someone started the graduation music on a tape player and the cute little kindergarteners started filing into the chairs. They wore little construction paper graduation caps and large white shirts that looked like graduation gowns. I was okay through this part. I didn’t cry. I waited and watched for Bradley in line so I could get a good picture.

I started crying when the principal said that “if she did her calculations right” this would be the graduating class of 2024.

Oh, my! 2024

That hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it’s because it is so hard to wrap my head around the idea of the year 2024. Maybe it’s because I am just facing the fact that my first baby is starting to grow up. He is just starting his educational career. Maybe it’s because I do not want to picture a young man sitting and looking for me at a high school or college graduation (not that I don’t want him to graduate, I just don’t want him to grow up. AND this would also make me OLD…er!). I want him to stay this sweet and cute little kindergartener. He is already growing up too fast! NO!!!

I wiped the tears from my eyes. I smiled and waved as he peeked over the heads in front of him to smile and wave at his mom. It doesn’t matter how old he is… or when he graduates. It doesn’t matter if someday there is a young man looking through the crowd to smile and wave at me. I will always be his mom. And even when he is a young man, he will always be my baby.

xxx

Bradley’s Thanksgiving Present

Bradley came across the playground wearing his coat and stocking cap. He also had a necklace made of  noodles around his neck. He was spinning the noodle beads and I noticed his hands had blue smudges on them from the dye. 

“Mom! I made this today in school.”

I told him how nice it was and that he did a good job. He was still messing with one flowered looking noodle. “But Chris (a boy in his class, name has been changed to protect the hungry), ate part of my noodle,” Bradley pointed out.

“It’s okay. I think it is a wonderful necklace.”

“I know, Mom. Chris also eats wood chicks (a.k.a. wood chips) off the playground though, Mom.”

I never know what to say about these stories. I always get a good laugh at the things he tells me…and I wonder how his teacher does it every day, she must have a wonderful sense of humor to be in a room of twenty something kindergartners all day. I’ve been there, it’s a blast, but I have always been exhausted by the end of the day.

“Well, hunny,” I explained to Bradley, “I think he is still learning that you don’t eat those things.”

He continued playing with his necklace and we headed for home.

When we got home he took off his necklace. “This is for you, Mom. Happy Thanksgiving!” He was so happy to give me the present. And every Mom loves a noodle necklace!

And Bradley must have been in the giving mood because he also gave Terri, who watches the babies all day, a picture he made of an owl and told her Happy Thanksgiving also. What a sweetie!

As I was tucking Bradley into bed that evening he asked, “Mom, where is your necklace?”

“I had to take it off because I’m getting ready to go to bed. I put it by my purse. I will put it on tomorrow. And you know what, I’m going to wear it ALL day tomorrow.” He started to smile and I continued…

“I’m going to wear it to work. And I know everybody at work is going to love my new necklace and they are going to ask, ‘Where did you get that awesome necklace?’ and I am going to say ‘My son, Bradley, made it for me.'” His smile was getting bigger and I continued…

 “They are going to LOVE my necklace so much and say that I am the luckiest Mom in the world because you made me such a beautiful necklace.” His smile was so big and he was so proud of his present he gave me.

“I love you, Mom.” We said our good nights and I gave him hugs and kisses.

“See you in the morning.”

I was starting to turn off the light and walk out the door when he said, “Mom! Wait!”

“What?”

“When are we going to break bread?”

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

xxx

Counting by Tens and Counting My Blessings

I pushed a thick sunflower stem into the floral foam and built up the arrangement with fall mums and lilies. I caught myself singing as I worked, “10, 20, 30…40, 50, 60…” and so on. Bradley’s little catchy tune has been stuck in my head for days.

I am really glad he is learning to count to 100, but that is all I hear all day long. It was really cute the first hundred times, but I think I have heard this song at least a million times by now. But I guess I’m missing my kids today, so his song is keeping me company.

As I left for work today I made my rounds and gave each one of them a hug and kiss, “Bye, baby!” or “Bye, hunny! I love you,” and around and around I went to each cute chubby cheek. I looked back at them around the dining room table with their cereal bowls and spoons and I felt full, not on Cheerios, but love.

I am a lucky mom to have such wonderful and beautiful children. You know how you get those days or moments, and you stop in the middle of the chaos and realize how truly blessed you are just by looking at those sweet faces.

I’m in awe and wonder. I am thankful.

But here is Bradley’s song, so you can get it stuck in your head, too. Watching Brad and the kids in the background just cracks me up. Welcome to my world.

He is getting so smart.

xxx

Milestones

August 16, 2011

We have been hitting a lot of milestones, especially today. It’s Collin’s second birthday and Bradley’s first day of kindergarten. <big sigh> I’m trying to hold back the tears.

First day of school –  All over America moms of kindergartners are crying as they watch their little ones go into the very beginning of their school career. And I’m sure some mother’s of older children are cheering, “Yes! They needed to go back to school before they drive me crazy!” Right now, I’m the crying one.

I woke up before all the kids on the first day of school, feeling that old excitement and fear as if I was in grade school again. I wonder who I will sit by? I wonder who will be in my class? I hope my teacher sure is nice? I can smell the new notebooks, glue, and crayons now. I remember when I couldn’t wait to use my new paints, and sport a new outfit and book bag.

Bradley was still fast asleep. I love sleeping children. I didn’t really want to get any of them up, but it is the “big day” and there’s no putting it off any longer.

Ready for the first day of kindergarten.

I studied the photocopied pick up and drop off procedures for Bradley’s school the night before and in the morning before we left. I looked at it through blurry eyes as I tried to push back those big momma tears that always want to spring out and overflow when you send your kid to kindergarten for the first time. I tried to orientate myself with the streets and the map, doing a rehearsal in my head. My brain did not want to cooperate since time and places are so confusing right now. I mean, he’s only a baby! And now I have to pull up, push him out of the car,  and send him into the big brick building all by himself (along with the seventy other something kindergartners)?

And I kept thinking how scary for him, but as we pulled up I smiled and in my most cheery mom voice said, “We’re here! You’re first day of kindergarten! How fun!” Fun for him, not for me – is what I really meant. I’m going to so miss having him home with me during the day. I really thought of holding onto his book bag and giving him a hundred kisses before the teachers had to pull me off, but I restrained myself. I also held back those tears (a.k.a. uncontrollable sobs) that I think all mom’s get that first day. I mean, I didn’t want to scare the poor lil’  fella’.

The thing that drove me crazy is I should have parked and made sure he got in the right line, etc. But I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep a handle on Collin, there wasn’t enough time, and there wasn’t anywhere to park anyway.

I got out anyway and helped him put on his book bag, gave him a kiss, “Have a good day. Mommy will be here in this line when you get out. Look for our car. And make sure you see Mommy in the car (for fear he might get into some other black SUV) before you get in.”

I asked one of the school staff standing there, “Where is he supposed to go?” I couldn’t really leave the car since Collin was in it, and you’re not supposed to park there (drop off only zone).

“Just go and get into the Kindergarten line,” she said motioning over to the hundreds of  lined up kids on the other side of the playground. “We goota keep this line moving. Your teacher will be holding up the Kindergarten sign. Oh wait, you probably can’t read yet. Ummm…” she was clueless. “I guess you could go park.” I looked around, park where? Two blocks away? I doubt we would make it to school on time. Cars were zooming in and out as they dropped off their kids. Movement was everywhere, and I just wanted to stay planted to that spot. “No, don’t go,” but I didn’t say it.

I took control of the situation. “Bradley, do you see that lady standing there in the white pants? See, there are two ladies, one in white and one in black? Go run up and there and ask her where the kindergarten line is.” And I held up the drop off-line while I watched and made sure he reached the ladies and was in place in line. Ticket me. I don’t care.

He was so happy and proud when I picked him up.

My dad was watching the girls, so when Collin and I got back home my dad says, “Happy Birthday, Collin! How old are you? Are you two?”

“Holy crap! I have been so busy running around to be on time this morning I forgot it was his birthday!” I mean, I remembered a week ago, two days ago…but it just slipped my mind this morning. I spoiled him the rest of the day.

He even got balloons and candy delivered from Connie at Miller’s Florist.

And…

He even got to eat the extra vegetables after dinner. (He helped himself.)

Cake and icecream for dessert.

*I forgot to get frosting. Oops. It just makes the cake healthy. ;)* And he’s two, so he doesn’t know any better yet. It also went well with the banana split icecream.

Other milestones, Mallie is crawling and pulling herself up on everything. This girl can get around…and gets into everything. I can tell she is going to be Collin’s partner in crime.

Don't eat the dog food, Mallie!

And Elsie has a tooth! Just one coming in on the top. If she gets the other one, I’m gonna call her Bugs, like Bugs Bunny. “What’s up, Doc?”

Elsie and Mickey

Oh, my sweet girls.

Second day of school – I actually cried more than I did the first day. Bradley jumped out of the car, “Bye, Mom!” as he went running. He forgot my kiss. He ran up to a teacher, “Where’s the kindergarten line?” And he was off.

Tomorrow my dad is taking him to school…on the Harley. Bradley is super excited. He is getting too big! But he will always be my baby.

xxx

Hand Made Mother’s Day

One of my favorite Mother’s Day presents Bradley brought home from school the other day. A surprise hiding in his book bag, crushed and bent. A large piece of red construction paper, laminated and rolled up with the teacher’s writing on the outside – Happy Mother’s Day. How nice. When I opened it and saw the wonderful artwork drawn by my son, a picture of me…AND a nice little paragraph about his dear ol’ mom, ME…well, it brought tears to my eyes. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. It is one of my favorite keepsakes so far (I need to frame this one). I love that darn kid so much!

He was so proud of his present. Too cute!

o.k. , so I’m not 18. I’m 23.  😉  hee hee. When I first read that it brought tears of joy and laughter.

The best gifts have no price tags…they are made by little hands and come from the heart. Priceless.

xxx