The other day, Brooklynn said,
"Why do I get a smile on my face every time I see a school bus?"
Brooklynn's first day of kindergarten
As you know, from my pre-first-day-of-school-post, I was a bit of a wreck at the thought of sending my five year old away for four hours a day, with kids and adults I don't know, to a new place, and to be picked up and dropped off without my assistance and hawk eyes.
Naturally, I followed the school bus on the first day. Never mind she told me not to when I spoke of my plans. I debated her wishes and my gut feelings until that school bus picked her up. Then two seconds after the bus pulled up that hill, all crumbled and Asher talked me into following the school bus.
For the first time in my motherhood, I felt like a stalker. My plans were to follow the bus and drive around the parking lot and watch Brooklynn walk across the courtyard and make it to the right building. When I couldn't see squat, and the tiny lot screamed accident waiting to happen if you plan to spy on your kid while driving, I parked, grabbed Asher, and headed for her building.
Parents were scattered about, some taking pictures of their group of kids atop the school sign, one child crying outside a classroom, and recess happening. When I saw her rainbow pen-striped backpack against the wall outside her classroom, I knew she was where she needed to be. Relieved and well, I decided to have one more glance at my girl on her first day of school.
I walked out to the yard, scanning the playground and the lawn for Brooklynn in her pink coat. With tiny kids and big kids running rampantly, I had to look harder. Just about the times I squinted my eyes, I found her, on the concrete attempting some solo hula-hoop fun. And it was just about that time that the bell rang and I told myself my work had been done and I could quietly leave without her ever knowing I followed her.
But after the bell rang, she kept at it. Then the playground aid called "all toys need to be put away and you need to line up at your classrooms," but Brooklynn didn't flinch and she kept working on her rhythmic hip-sways. I watched her for another 15 seconds to see if she planned on listening on her first day of school, and then I had no choice but to intervene.
She was surprised, asked how I got there, and feeling a bit creepy myself, I played it off, pointing to all the other parents outside the classroom. Asher and I watched as she lined up, and listened to her teacher begin what would be the tone she'll use with 25+ five and six year olds for the rest of the year.
As the line of children headed for the door, we waved good bye and she smiled excitedly. Aching a little for the boy who clung to his mother as his father stood watching, I grabbed Asher's hand and headed for the car.
She's in good hands, I thought, and it's exactly where she wants to be.
And, you know, sometimes spying settles an anxious heart, and your five year old wont hold it against you.