We returned from our trip to California the other day and I have plenty to share with you!

I know many of you are waiting to hear about it.

I have heard you!!  😀

I also have lots of recipes to share with you.

But, today I wanted to write about something else.

No, wait.

Don’t groan and complain.

Don’t leave.

Hang in here with me, you might like this one.

This morning, I took my school-aged monkeys to school.

Another 1st Day of School for another school year.

Aside from being reminded again of how much I miss homeschooling and being terribly torn between homeschooling and this traditional school, as well as all that most parents go through on the first day of each school year, my thoughts always go back to the same moment in time  …

…  my very first 1st Day of School as a parent.

The day I took my oldest child to school for his very first 1st Day of School.

It couldn’t have been more than a few years ago, when “Bud” started kindergarten.

Oh, holy heck!!

When did that happen?!?!

OK, well it feels like it was just a few years ago, in my mind it’s just a short trip down memory lane.

At 6′ 2″, maybe it was many years ago that my “Shorty” started kindergarten.

But now you know why I stopped calling him Shorty and My Little Man and started calling him Bud!

Aaah.  That’s much better.

As I was saying  …  It was just a few years ago that I took Bud to his very first 1st Day of School.

I was so nervous, or worried, or .. who knows!

Like most parents, I was hoping his day went well.  That he felt comfortable there.  That he would have a wonderful teacher that was well suited for him.  That he made friends easily.

We had been to the school a few times already for entrance testing as well as other details that needed to be taken care of before school started.

I had read all the information in the packet about drop off and pick up times and looked over the map that drew out where to enter, exit, drop off or park.

On the morning of the first day, I loaded Bud and his younger sister into the car and drove to the school.

As I approached, I told him, “OK, We’re going to drive around the corner to go into the parking lot so we can park and walk into the school yard.”

To which he pipes up from the back seat, “That’s OK, mom.  You can just drop me off.”

What?!?!

I was not prepared for this!

I pointed out that he didn’t know where he was supposed to line up with his class and where his classroom was.  It hadn’t occurred to me that we would need to go over that for the very first day of school.  For crying out loud!!

He said it was ok, I could drop him off anyway.  I insisted and he agreed to let me walk in with him.  *whew*

We found the line of kindergarten students  …  each with at least one parent standing next to him or her!  Thank you very much!

We waited in line until the teacher showed up to walk them to class.  I gave him a kiss, he hugged his sister, and we bid him farewell.

Yes, I knew school would be out later that afternoon  …  but, trust me, that very first 1st Day of School is a bid farewell moment.

It just is.

I made it to the car, made it home in one piece, and occupied myself for the day …  just barely.

Well  …  he did have a good day.  *whew*

We bargained and he agreed to let me walk him to his class line for one month.  He didn’t need me to.  I needed to.  He’s sweet to me that way.

After the first month, as agreed, I drove past the parking lot feeling it tug me towards it.  I held the steering wheel tight and drove on to the drop off spot.

He hoped out of his seat, grabbed his stuff, and headed towards the car door.

I said, “Hey!  Get your butt back here, Bud, and give me a kiss!”

He quickly came back towards me then  …  LOOKED AROUND  …  I kid you not!!  … and gave me a quick kiss before bolting out the car door.

I could NOT believe it!  Never before, and not after, did he ever do that.  He is my most affectionate child.  He didn’t care who knew how much he loved us.  Well, into high school, he still gave the best hugs.  And he was always an amazing big brother, full of love, affection, and attention.  I was shocked.

I drove out onto the street and parked the car outside the playground.

I sat there, watching him stand in line with the other children (and their parents … I’m just sayin’) until the teacher came to walk them to class.

Then I sat there watching the empty playground with tears rolling down my face.

My little man was growing up and in school.  How … when did that happen?!

After about 10 or 15 … or 20 minutes of staring at that empty playground, , my 3-year-old piped up from the backseat asking when we were going home.  “Soon.”, I told her.

After about 5 more minutes, she asked again.  “Soon.”, I told her.

After about 5 more minutes, she said she was hungry and reminded me that she hadn’t finished her breakfast.

I told her that she had better hush up and reserve her strength then.

She was my second child.

You don’t freak as much about the second one.

Bud and I both survived that first 1st Day of School and that full first year.

He did have a good first day.

He made friends very easily, from kindergarten through eighth grade.  We couldn’t walk through the playground with out kids of all ages calling out his name.  I was so happy to see how many friends he made easily.  …  Until one time, out of the corner of my eye, I see him respond to his name by looking their way and doing that backwards nod thing where you tilt your head back right before you say ” ‘Sup.” And I thought, are you kidding me?!  You’re five!

And his teacher … well, she called me in often for conferences.  Bud had been reading for almost 3 years by the time he started school and was nearing 2nd grade level math.  He was bored.  She didn’t know what to do for him or with him  …  and I didn’t know why I was paying almost $300 a month in tuition.

Many years, and many children later, I handle the 1st Day of School better.

Sort of.

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