The big first day of kindergarten finally arrived. Who is this darling little girl you ask? Why, it's me. 34 years ago. On my first day of kindergarten. My mom almost started to cry when she saw this picture today. Note my lovely garment, which I believed is called a smock, and my flood bell bottoms. Especially groovin' are my combo white patent leather and blue suede shoes. Incidentally, I showed this picture to Elaine and asked, "Who is this?" She looked at it closely and said, "Me!" Also, 1974 was the last time my hair was long.
Flash forward 34 years to my own little kindergartner. Her shoes, which you can't see very well, are just as cool--black patent leather and grey tweed combo. We're all about the footwear here.
She was so excited this morning. We had her favorite cinnamon bread, because everyone who reads Betsy-Tacy knows that you have a special breakfast every year on the first day of school. Then we took pictures out on the front step, then drove over to school. I got out of the car and went around to her side. I put my arms around her in her seat and prayed with her: that she would have a wonderful year, learn a lot, have a lot of fun, make a lot of friends, obey Mrs. Blevins, and most of all, honor Jesus. When I finished she asked, "And can we pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray?" so we said the Lord's Prayer together in the parking lot and headed in.
The place was a madhouse of course, but Mrs. Blevins was at her door, welcoming everyone. Here are a couple pictures of the room that Darren took last Friday during the kindergarten open house.
Lucy putting away her supplies...
Mrs. Blevins also had a care package for each student with a note that said: Dear Rain Forest Kids: Welcome to Rain Forest Country. I am so happy that you are in our class! You are now officially a new member of our Kindergarten family! this is a special care package that I made just for you. This is what each item means: Starburst--You are a star in our class. Eraser--Remember that it's ok to make mistakes. Even grownups learn from mistakes. Smarties--You're going to get even smarter this year! Hug--If you ever need a hug at school, we have one for you. Sticker--In our class, we will always stick together. Cottonball--The Rain Forest is a warm, cozy place. Tissue--We will dry your tears if you need us to. Ribbon--Friendship will tie us together. Gummy Bears--Kindergarten is just like you: 'Beary' nice! Special pencil--Just because I'm glad you're here! Love, Mrs. Blevins. Doesn't she sound so sweet and kind? I'm thrilled for Lucy because, and not that I'm holding any 34-year-old grudges but it must be said, my kindergarten teacher was a cranky old battleaxe.
Here she is with Lucy...(note the GREAT hair; Luce is right!)
It looks like they've hit it off already. After everyone arrived, Mrs. Blevins gathered all the kids on the mat and read them "The Kissing Hand." Then all the parents kissed their own kindergartners goodbye, and we left. I only teared up a little bit, just because she looked so small, and grave, and self-possessed sitting there on the mat, while the other children just seemed so out of control (sorry, but they really did. I came home and told Darren good thing it was me who went instead of him; he would have been beside himself over some of the behavior I saw).
I picked her up when the morning was over, and Mrs. Blevins said, "Lucy fell down the steps on the way to the library, but she says she's fine and she never even cried!" Isn't that the kind of thing you'll remember your whole life long? Yeah, I fell down the library steps on the first day of kindergarten. But she really did seem fine, and when we got in the car she told me that she had a great day and that kindergarten was "excellent."
So...that was it. The first day of school. I survived and Lucy thrived. I'm guessing 34 years down the road when I look at her picture from today, I'll still get tears in my eyes.