Leading up to the first day, Jack, aka Mr. Cool, was pretty excited. I, however, had a fair dose of butterflies in my stomach. Here's how we got ready:
The night before the first day we packed his backpack. Jack surprised me by bringing me this pic he had in his room and suggested himself that he keeps it in a special pocket of his backpack for when he misses me. He said he could take it out and it would be what he would call "love time." Oh my heart. How does he do it?
In addition to packing his lunch for the first day, I also took out the Sharpie for a first go with a special lunch/message/note on his snack bag.
So that stuff was all the night before the big day. Together he and I laid out his school uniform, picked out some socks and undies, and of course I snuggled him up in his bed as tight as he would allow me to squeeze him.
The next morning I'm laying in my bed and hear his bedside light click on. I stayed in bed and watched as he got up and promptly dressed himself. After a few minutes, I got up see what he was up to in the bathroom. There he stood in only his socks and shirt, that's it!, dipping his fingers into some hair gel. Gotta look good for the first day! He was acting differently already, more grown up, and he was out to prove it. He insisted on fixing his hair himself. No help from mama today! After that he completed the clothing process and we stepped outside for him to strike a few poses in some first day pics.
Next step was the kitchen. He spotted on the mirror a message I Wiki Sticked the night before. While everything inside of me wanted to run the other way from this day, it seemed like the best thing to just embrace it and go for it with all my heart, just like he was doing. So my way of embracing was to put up a reminder of the new phase of life we were beginning.
We planned his powerbreakfast the night before: Waffles, a cuppa tea, and maple syrup in a medicine cup.
With the waterproof mascara applied, an ample supply of tissues in my pocket, and sunglasses secured to prevent Jack the embarrassment of my monsoon of tears, our family of four made the drive to his new school.
We hung out in his classroom for a few minutes, then eventually said our goodbyes. Jack was thrilled to meet his teacher, and excited to check out the new crop of friends he'd be spending the next year with. His enthusiasm actually made it fairly easy to say good bye to him.
When we got back home, Dais and I cracked out the Legos and, at her request, built our very own Big Ben.
And because Jack was on our minds, we made a reminder that in about 5 hours we'd be heading back to school to swoop him into our arms and hear all about his day.
As I mentioned, we're now about a month into this new chapter, and even though I miss him dearly, think about him, pray for him, and wonder about what he's doing, it's also brought a new change that I'm very thankful for. For one, I get to have some good quality time just with my girl. She's great at expressing herself, and I love to hear about it. Also, Jack is totally embracing school work, and while he doesn't tell me every single detail about his school day all at once, little snippets usually come out throughout the afternoon. Sometimes he brings home work he completed at school and we sit down and look at it together. He's so proud of his hard work and loves to show it off.