Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Days

Since a child, I've always visualized the calendar year like a clock face: the 12th month of December is at the top, and the beginning of summer (vacation, not summer solstice) in the 6th month of June at the bottom. It just seemed appropriate to visualize a cyclical way of counting our days and months in a circle, especially since we count our minutes and hours in a circle. Literally, what goes around, comes around. Do you do this too?? Wedged in there, three quarters of the way through a year, September should deserve a "beginning" title of its own! Nick returned to his fall quarter on September 8. The kids' first days of school in 2014-2015 happened on September 9 and 10.

Abigail has looked forward to her first day back with friends since a month ago. Once Nick ended his summer courses, she's routinely asked about the start of preschool! The quiet time routine that we worked hard on cultivating over the summer had become sparser toward mid-August, too, since this mama needed some topic inspiration (and extra time to prepare for our trips to see friends and family). Socializing sums up most of her fun, but so do the new topics and chances to ask questions. I can't really think of an activity, craft, or topic for which she has zero tolerance or acceptance!

"Mom, my first day was last year! Why do I need a picture?" For mama, silly!

Evan's ability to transition to preschool has come with only one worry for me: how will he learn the difference between the Tue/Thr routine of big kids only, versus his special day to attend on Wednesdays? Although he let me know he felt disappointed and frustrated to leave Tue, he kept himself under control :-) And he easily put his shoes on himself and cheerfully said good-bye today. Whew, no difficult leaving transition!

Hiding from the flash, and classic Evan squinty eyes smile

I'm happy that their teacher, Miss Rachel, offered the option for a multi-age classroom one morning a week. Nick and I have noticed that Evan benefits from having Abigail as a buddy when we drop the kids off for Sunday School or for group childcare at church. He feels very proud that he's potty trained and can articulate all his needs or initiate play with another child verbally... and Nick and I are proud that he doesn't fit in with the average 2 year old room with it's diapers and one-word sentences. A small part of my brain also rationalizes that 2 year olds are more likely to be messy eaters at home and then mouth a toy in Sunday School, and although unfounded, it seems to us that he's safer with the older kids that likely use silverware and practice hand washing after using the toilet. Despite normal sibling tiffs, we're also pleased that Abigail is not Evan's "translator" and is more of a reassuring presence (since they often end up playing with different new friends anyway). Evan has had a slower time accepting me leaving to tutor or attend an evening event; although, babysitters are adored -- poor Nick. We'll continue to have them attend 3/4/5 year Sunday School as buddies, and preschool once a week as buddies until Evan feels very comfortable and confident with attending by himself... which isn't a problem at Miss Rachel's -- he's wanted to stay and play since last year!

If your child had a recent "first day" of class, team practice,
or something else to remember, add the url link in the comments to share.

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