Monday, August 27, 2012

First grader!

good-bye hug

Tobin is ending today much like any other: he's reading a book on the couch before heading off to bed. There's a slight variation to this little routine. He's reading to Mimi, who is about halfway through her week-long visit. I think that's symbolic for the day. Tobin went to school as if it were the most routine thing in the world. He woke, ate breakfast, played with Evan, got dressed, brushed his teeth, grabbed his lunch box and backpack, rode with me in the van to school, found his classroom and hugged me good bye. He handled it as if it were ordinary, but there was also the extraordinary part: a new grade at a new school with a new teacher with new friends and a new schedule. As mama, I focus on the momentous aspects of this day but I surmise that all the new things were a much bigger deal to me than they were to him.

ready for first grade

We're lucky to have Mimi visiting because she stayed home with Evan and Lauren, allowing me to take Tobin to school, where instead of just dropping him off in the car line, I felt unencumbered enough to park and walk him up to his classroom. I was carrying a large grocery bag full of classroom supplies, so there was a practical reason for doing so in addition to my desire to make sure he knew exactly where he was going and that he was in fact as ready and excited as he seemed to be. He confidently figured out where to put his lunch box, found his cubby and joined some other classmates doing puzzles in the science center of his classroom. I took a moment to ask his teacher about the pick-up procedure in the afternoon and took a couple pictures. I hugged Tobin good bye. Then I took another picture. And then I said something like, "Have a great day. I love you, and I'm going now." At which point, he came over and gave me another hug--perhaps, reassuring me that it was in fact going to be a very good day.

big boy, big school

Our day at home was very pleasant, especially with Mimi around. The babies took their usual naps and snacks and meals. The only thing was that I kept watching the clock and couldn't help noting that it was a long time until 3:30 when we would pick Tobin up from school. I think that will take some getting used to. It feels odd to have him gone all day. Even he noted that when he got home and I offered him a snack, he almost asked me for a sandwich because he was used to getting home in time for lunch.

lunch box drop

Mimi and I, and later Matt, peppered him with questions. He told us there were 21 kids in his class but one of them was absent. He then listed about ten names of his classmates. His favorite part of his day, other than recess, was gym, where he "basically just ran around a lot and exercised but not with equipment." His least favorite part of the day was writing workshop when he had to sit down and write how he felt about his new school ("I felt excited.") because he thought it was the one time in the day when he didn't really get to choose his activity. His class got to walk around and explore the school. He doesn't sit at a desk but on a spot on a circular carpet, much like he did in Kindergarten. He reported it was tough to tell who the second and third graders were in his class, except for this one kid who was really tall; he must have been in third grade. He got to visit the water fountain and knew where the bathrooms were but he doesn't think he used the restroom all day! His first order of business upon arriving home was changing clothes from the polo shirt and khakis I picked out for him into a T-shirt and shorts. After a snack and chatting with Matt, who arrived home shortly after us, he played table tennis on the Wii with his brother.

jumping in

So I'm struck at the end of this milestone of a day about how mostly pleasant and comfortable it felt, especially for Tobin. When Matt tucked him in to bed tonight, he said something like, "Dad, I love my new school. And I really love my bed--or maybe just these covers." Sleep well, our big first grader. (Full set of pictures here.)

 ready for a great day!

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