the big yellow school bus

Today may have been Ian’s second day of kindergarten, but it was his first day riding the bus. We can only hope that by May or heck, even October, he’ll be as excited and concerned about being on time for the bus as he was this morning. Here’s a mini photo essay:

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introducing ian, the kindergartener

First day - ready to go!

Well, we all made it through the first day of school. Come to think of it – not only did we make it – we passed with flying colors! (Or at least that’s how I’m choosing to grade ourselves, which you have the right to do when you are just shy of the big 4-0. I just made that rule up, by the way.)

Now, I’m not going to say there weren’t a few lumps in the throat along the way. The biggest and strangest lump may have actually been yesterday when I pulled up to St. Andrews to pick up Elena and it hit me like a ton of bricks that Ian was no longer there. Gone were the days of going inside and finding him reading books or doing puzzles with friends on the floor, or finding him running around the gym or the playground outside like a crazy man, pretending he didn’t see that I had arrived and it was time to leave. Or, him asking me what was for dinner while he was getting in the car.

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elena’s new adventures

Elena had her last day at St. Lukes last Tuesday. I was definitely a little sad when I picked her up. Lhee, one of her two main teachers there, was so sweet. She gave her lots of hugs and kisses as we were ready to depart. Of course, Elena just wondered why the heck she was being smothered, almost as if I could hear her thinking, “Dude, what’s gotten into you?? Can’t you see my mom’s here…I’ll see you tomorrow!” She has so enjoyed it there and become attached to her teachers that I knew if she had any idea she wouldn’t be back, she’d be pretty sad, too.

Getting our shoes on before we leave for the first day at St. Andrews.

It was all good though once Wednesday morning came and I was reminded how excited Ian has been to have Elena starting at “his” school (um, for like one more week). Arms were flapping as he promised us that he was going to look out for her and help show her the ropes at St. Andrews. Of course, everyone was more than welcoming and excited to have her as the four of us came in that morning. As usual these days, Ian ran into his room barely saying goodbye – as if we were embarrassing him already. (Does this really start at age 5?)

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changes, they are a comin’

I think there are at least a few people in this world who adapt to change better than I do. Wait, scratch that. I’m sorry to say that I have no idea what the world’s population is off the top of my head, but let’s just say that if it’s 609 zillion people – there are probably 603 zillion of them who accept change better than I do. Now, that’s not to say that I’m inflexible, but I do like to stay the course, if possible. For instance, whenever we go to Muchas Gracias for dinner, I always get a cheese enchilada and chicken taco. Why? Because it’s a sure (read: safe) bet.

Believe it or not, the same goes when it comes to matters involving parenting. Stability: good. Change: often not quite as good. When Ian came along, we lived in the Washington, D.C. area where you are more likely to see a politician acting like a mature adult than you are to get a spot for your baby at a daycare. It’s commonly known there that if you have any hope of getting your child into a “decent” daycare – meaning they at least feed them at some point during the day – you had better start going on tours and getting on wait lists before you get pregnant. Wait until conceive and you’ve already missed the boat.┬áThat’s all to say that it can be a beyond-stressful process to locate a place where you a) feel comfortable leaving your child and b) can actually get a spot to park them.

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