First day of school! First day of School!

Yes, today was Calliope’s first day of school. Preschool that is. But still, its a big deal. I’ve been preparing for over a week. I think I may have previously mentioned disaster kits, emergency contact sheets and the incessant labeling of all things that might would go with her on any given day to school. Of course, I was the one running around the house this morning shouting First Day of School! First Day of School! being entirely silly and having way too much fun. Its obviously from Finding Nemo. Its not the first scene of the movie, although I always think of it as the first scene. And many times I have thought it should be the first scene. Somehow, my brain blocks out that first scene where mother and all her eggs are eaten by a (what?) … lets just say its a big fish with a lot of teeth. I wonder if Calliope also skips it in her memory of the movie. Its unlikely.
In any case, I was perfectly not calm this morning. I was just too excited to be ho drum. She loves being around other kids and new experiences and new toys. There was no doubt in my mind that she would eat it up like candy, or in her case, like cheese and tomatoes. Little cherry sized tomatoes. I was a little startled with how excited I was though. I never understood why dropping your kid off for the first day of school was such a big deal and why anyone would ever cry or have their emotions run away with them. I mean, Calliope has no problems staying with other people for the day, or even the weekend. We’ve proven that many times over. Sure, if you and your child have separation anxiety or similar, then its a big deal. But we can’t be the only ones who are outgoing and relaxed about Calliope being out in the world without us. But thats not what gets you as you are saying goodbye to your child. Its the overwhelming sense of loss. Loss of having her at home everyday (or thereabouts) to bug you and make you crazy and hug you and make you all warm inside. Its knowing that she is growing up. I can’t really call her a toddler anymore. I feel like we just graduated from baby like two weeks ago. Where did the toddler years go??? Oh, that’s right, they are only toddlers for a year, or two if you stretch the truth.
I did everything I was supposed to in preparation. We made a huge poster with pictures of all her family and friends and fun things she likes to do, We had a book for book week. We had tuition and a schedule request form for next semester. We had additional clothing for when she makes a mess of herself, rain gear and sunscreen. All labeled. So when we got to school, I felt great about dropping her off and all her stuff. The teachers were non-plussed as this is what you are supposed to do. Its normal. So I tried to talk to the teachers about her naps and her potty training and anything else I could think of… It became very clear that I was just hanging around and they didn’t need all my tidbits of information. She would be fine without me, without us. And I knew this, but I didn’t want to leave. But I did. I told Calliope I was leaving, got a very expedient hug and kiss and left the way from which I came. And I was very surprised to have watery eyes. Who is this person who can’t quite see where they are going? I’ve never had problems separating from her! We’ve always been very relaxed and comfortable about this. It took me all day to sort it out in my head and understand the full range of emotions (and I’m pretty sure I still don’t understand all of it).
Michael picked her up from school. When they got home, it was obvious that she was exhausted and very happy. Delirious even. She had not taken a nap, probably because there were so many kids around and its not what she is used to. She only ate her cheese and tomatoes for lunch despite the fact that I gave her avocado, watermelon, egg and cucumber. All things that she loves. Again, I think she was likely distracted. Not to mention they give out pretty big snacks at 9:30 in the morning and 4pm. She is definitely not used to that. We shall see how that plays out in the future. So she basically ate her leftovers from lunch, which was practically a full meal. And then she was in bed by 7pm and asleep ten minutes thereafter. I haven’t heard a peep since 🙂
We’re off tomorrow, and I’m glad. She needs to recuperate from that first day. I have a picture that Michael took with the big camera that I will post at a later date once it is downloaded from said camera. Now, I’m going to sleep, soundly.