Everything will be different now
Jack is wandering around the living room. doing his weird Jacky things, and saying, "I'm practicing for kindergarten."
It starts tomorrow, but today we attended an orientation at the school. We met his teacher, poked around the classroom, checked out the other kids, and investigated the playground, the library, the computer room. When we asked Jack what he's most looking forward to, he said, "The bathrooms!" Okay then!
I sort of feel like his first day was today. Phillip took the morning off (he's taking off tomorrow too) and we all trooped into the school and met his teacher and sat in the tiny chairs while the kindergarteners sat on the rug and listened to their teacher for the very first time. There was no fear. I wasn't worried about him, but you still WONDER. One little girl was visibly nervous and one little boy sobbed the entire time (his mother was SO ANNOYED) but Jack got right in line and asked his typically bizarre questions (when informed that the playground monitors would be wearing bright orange shirts, Jack piped up with, "What if the sun is too bright and we can't SEE the bright orange shirts?")
They shuffled the parents into the cafeteria and the principals gave us the low down on logistics while the kids ate cookies and drank juice provided by what was referred to as the "Not PTA". They call themselves "Family Group" because they're not all structured like a PTA, more laid back and easygoing and if this is actually true I might actually want to participate.
But if I had a good experience on the school tour a few months ago, it was blown out of the water by the orientation. It's true that I am LOOKING for positivity, but I am also just so relieved. My whole [out-of-touch] vision of Catholic school or a "good" public school didn't materialize. I saw everyone's pictures of their kids wearing Catholic school uniforms on their first day last week and felt sad. I still felt anxious about choosing to send my perfect precious child to the run down neighborhood school, where full day kindergarten is free because the school is labeled disadvantaged. But I have honestly loved everything about it. His teacher impressed me right off the bat. Everyone was SO friendly and SO enthusiastic. The new principal made a point of meeting Molly and admiring her silver shoes (and showing off her own glitter TOMS).
I've said this a million times - because I come from a family of public school teachers I've been feeling like I "know too much" about what goes on backstage. I want to feel good about Jack's class AND the principal AND the school as a whole. I may not "speak" teacher, but I totally understand it when I hear it and I feel like I need to know all of that stuff. WHICH I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW. As if I don't have enough to be anxious about, what with packing lunch and figuring out drop off logistics and picking out the Most Cute Outfit for the first day.
So whatever, it's all good. I'm really excited for Jack. I'm excited for me! I'm having to stop myself from signing up for everything on the volunteer form, reminding myself that 1) I have a baby and 2) I don't even LIKE volunteering!
Tomorrow we'll take Jack to his class, stick around for a welcome meeting sponsored by the Not PTA, and then (gah) I have to drive Molly over to PRESCHOOL orientation. (Her first day is Monday.) I feel like life just got super busy, and it's only going to get busier, huh? Now is when we start marking time by school years again, and wondering how our kindergarteners turned into sixth graders OMG SHUT UP, ME!!!