Thursday, August 25, 2011

first days

Today was Elisabeth's first day of kindergarten! The other kids started on Mon. so it was torture for her to wait for her first day - but we made it!

She was very excited - a little nervous - but mostly excited. She and I had lunch at McDonald's, just the 2 of us, to celebrate and she loved that. We even "went in the restaurant" (as she said) which was a rare treat for her. :) She struggles a little bit more academically than the older kids did (aside from Samuel with his unique struggles) but I am trying to just let her go at her own pace and not worry about it.

If there's anything I've learned in my 12 yrs of this parenting gig, it's that no one can force, persuade or push any child to be something other than they are. And they come with their own strengths and weaknesses, their own talents and quirks and personalities. As their mom, it's my privilege to get to know them and hopefully help them on their way. I work on helping them reach whatever their full potential is as magnificent developing humans, and accepting them for who they are and where they're at in any given time.

Samuel started first grade at the charter school. He is also very excited to finally be at the same school as his siblings! Hooray! He is doing really well so far, amazingly, surprisingly well. We think that the combination of being at the school with his siblings and being held back a grade have increased his confidence substantially. He just isn't exhibited the anxiety symptoms that have been such a stumbling block for him in the past, so I am just really hoping it continues but, also, that they won't cut off all his support either. Tricky. But we have a lot of hope for this year!!

Isaac started 5th grade. Nothing really new happening for him. And so far he's been self-motivated and responsible in getting his homework done right after school, which is one of the things I absolutely love the best about this kid. Yay for one child I don't have to worry about in school (for now!).

And Abigail started 7th grade. Her first year of middle school, and first year in public school after her first 7 years at the charter school. Her first time riding a school bus, changing classes, using a locker. Phew, it's kind of overwhelming! I know she's going to be ok. She's going to get the hang of having A and B days (4 different classes every other day) and the most ridiculous policy ever of not being able to bring backpacks to class (they leave them in the locker and can bring a small bag with pens etc to class). But, wow. These first few days have been an adventure (leaving her violin in the hallway when she wasn't sure where to put it, missing the bus home, forgetting her assignments, not being able to get her locker open, etc). Ohh, she is such a great girl - she has so many amazing talents and abilities. I just hope hope hope this year will turn out to be a good one for her.

Another new thing this year was making these little stuffed felt hearts:

Aren't they cute? Got the idea off Pinterest, of course.

Well, then I added my idea of giving them to the kids as soft fuzzies filled with love for them to hold onto or just look at or touch in their pocket to remember how much they are loved when they feel nervous or unsure on their first days.

I goof up in hugely major ways on most days as a mom. You're well aware of that, I know. But sometimes, every once in a while, I feel like I do small things right. And I hope they remember those, too. I hope they remember times like these when I stayed up struggling to stitch and stuff silly little felt hearts for them to take to school. hahaha. Because I love them soo much. :)

I think maybe I should have also made one for myself. I've had at least one meltdown so far this week when I could have used a little extra comfort. It's been a tough week! Lots of nervous energy, paperwork, new schedule and routines, etc etc. We are all trying to adjust. Wish us luck!

And how's back to school going for you??


Colleen said...

I'm really glad Elijah doesn't start until next week. :) Love the felt hearts idea, very cute.

Jennifer Pelo Rawlings said...

They all look great and ready to go. I love the felt hearts idea. Good luck with the school year.

Kelli said...

great post Kristen! you are a terrific mom and i know you kids feel that. the hearts are a great idea! i hope the school year goes well for all of them, as well as for you! enjoy! :)

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