Ok, so a bit turned into 2 days, but it's been CRAZYVILLE around here. I have to revamp my whole schedule just to fit everything in. Some days it's either blog or brush my teeth...and I'm pretty sure those I come in face to face contact with would much prefer me choose the latter.
Alright already, this post isn't supposed to be about me, it's supposed to be about our sweet little Reese, who joined the ranks of bazillions of other schoolchildren this week. Just one more little tidbit about me first...in the title of my last post I stated that I DIDN'T CRY on her first day.
I just don't want that feat to be overlooked in all of this. I got teary eyed on the way to drop her off. We were listening to the Veggie Tales sing a sweet little rendition of Seek Ye First, and I had to turn it off and put on a regular radio station to get my mind off cute little children...namely MINE whom I'd be dropping off in a few minutes to begin her formal education and whom, one day, I'd be driving to drop off at a University somewhere.
I got ahold of myself and we all bumbled into the building. They don't have curbside drop off, so I have to unbuckle everyone each time and finagle the double stroller through the double doors of the church school which do not have that magic button to push that hold the doors open.
Anyway, I did get teary eyed again while we were waiting outside her classroom with all the other kids and parents. But nary a tear fell to my cheek. If just one tear had fallen, it would have been all over. I'd have been a bawling crumpled mess on the floor.
Let me back up a bit. We have been preparing for Reese's first day of preschool for months. Buying new outfits here and there, picking out new hairbows that I am vowing not to lose the first month of school, picking out her backback and lunchbox. I love how her backpack takes up half her body. The night before her first day, I was running around like a crazy person getting her outfit ready, her lunch packed, and her sheet washed for rest time. Then I realized I had to get the other two kids' outfits ready plus my own. Normally on my days at home, my attire consists of a t-shirt, ball cap, and jeans. Her school is filled with prim and proper Johnson County moms and I don't want to embarrass her this early by dropping her off looking like a frumpled mess.
David had to make a last minute trip to the grocery store for a few items while I stuck around home and continued preparing for this next step in her life. She only eats lunch there on Wednesdays so I want to put little love notes for her to find each time. Since she can't read yet, I figured I'd draw little pictures. I had the first one all planned out...I even drew a mock up of it at work. It was going to be her and me with a heart in between us and a rainbow. Across the top I wrote I LOVE U REESE! Replacing the word LOVE with a heart. Simple. Easy for a 4 year old to figure out. Lets her know I'm thinking of her.
When David got home from the store, he caught me sneaking the picture into her box.
"What's that?" he asked.
I excitedly showed it to him explaining how I wanted to draw a new one every week when he pulled out a tiny little storebought card with the Disney Princesses on the front.
"I thought this would be cute to put in her box. You can print out each of our faces and tape them on the inside."
BLAST! I hate it when he comes up with cuter ideas than mine. Which actually happens quite often. He's a man for crying out loud, their minds aren't supposed to work like that.
He took a closer look at my drawing and asked, "Where am I?".
I stumbled over my words and explained that I just wanted it to be a simple little picture so she knew I was thinking about her...blah blah blah.
"Well, her Daddy will be thinking about her too!" he reminded me.
I headed straight downstairs and printed off little pictures of me, David, Drue, and Tate and dutifully taped our faces inside her card and drew hearts around them. David also bought her some fun squisy colorful pencils to take in her bag. All night long he kept rubbing it in that he'd had the whole family in mind when he was picking out her little treasures.
I warned Reese that I would be taking her picture quite a few times that morning. I've discovered that if I warn her early about stuff like that, she's more likely to cooperate when the time comes. I even told her I'd be taking a picture of her once we got inside her classroom. It helped that the other moms all had their cameras out too. After I snapped that last picture, she waved her little hand signaling it was time for me to go. I leaned over and gave her a quick kiss then turned to leave. She ran over and gave me a hug. That made my whole morning. Then I watched as she bounced her little blond curls over to the play area without looking back.
There was an emptiness in our day without her. The van was strangely quiet. I kept asking Drue if she missed Reese, to which kept responding, "No". We ran a few errands, which is much easier to do with just two of them, I must admit. But I had to fight the urge to tell everyone in the store who smiled at my two youngsters that I actually have one more child who wasn't with me because she started school today.
She was happy to see us when we went back to get her that afternoon. She had a great first day. She told me all about it. I put everyone down for naps when we got home. I had to lay down with Reese so she would be sure to fall asleep because we were heading to the circus that night. She grumbled at first, but within 10 minutes her breathing became even and steady and she was o-u-t. My exhausted little preschooler.
Now if I can just muster up the courage to take her back next week...