Monday, September 09, 2013

Another First Day

 First day of first grade!

 First day of her last year of preschool!

Anticipating September 4th, our district’s official first day of school, had the whole Ross household a bit keyed up that last week of summer. Pat kept asking “When is the first day of school again?”, which exasperates me to no end having to repeat myself to non-listening ears.  Devi was in a tug of war with her thoughts weighing the benefits of free time versus organized learning; wearing uniforms again versus just throwing on her coveted favorite flowy dress; and having free use of the school library versus making a selection from our limited home bookshelf of titles. Secretly wishing it were true, Treya was adamantly telling everyone that she was starting kindergarten, though every one who knows her is aware that she has one more year of preschool preparation ahead. I was calm as a cucumber, smugly feeling well prepared UNTIL...I decided to re-check the fit of some of Devi’s uniforms. Dresses and jumpers that fit perfectly less than a month ago, now had hems measuring well above mid-thigh, sinfully breaking every dress code known to man! With no time to debate a sudden growth spurt, I quickly moved these items to the “no longer fits” pile that also held about 15 pair of Treya’s pants!

Now, just days before the “first day” when purchasing online was no longer an option,  I was physically out shopping (so not like me!) for pants and one of the hardest items to locate - a short sleeve navy blue polo dress, with no logos, or pockets. This event alone would normally cause our family to become all ruffled up, but thankfully my sister, an avid shopper came along for moral support. In the end, we were successful, bringing my stress level down to a defcon 3 again and Devi was overjoyed at finally having found a belt that actually fits her tiny waist. I am still searching for tights in red and yellow, but certainly a “first day” can occur without all the accessories.


As a final quick hooray to say goodbye to summer, we accomplished an overnight camping trip complete with hiking, pond fishing and campfire smores. The girls slept comfortably in a trailer, while Pat and I wrestled with an air mattress, two sleeping bags and the four skewer-like legs of our dog Bengal in the back of our sloping downhill minivan. And just like that, before we knew it, the “first day” was upon us.

This year I honed in on boosting brain power, making blueberry pancakes for a hearty breakfast. We discussed their aspirations for the coming year. Devi decided she wants to be a mom, a prima ballerina and a gymnast when she grows up. Her favorite subject is science and she feels as though with maturity has come the desire to change her favorite colors from the typical favorites of pink and purple to red and blue, though you could not fool me. Treya would like to be a mom and asked if she could also be something else (I love the way her brain works) so expanded her dream to include becoming a professional soccer player and a teacher. She still loves purple and nap time is her favorite subject in preschool. The girls appeared dressed and ready soon after our enlightening breakfast, looking  spit polished and ready to go. We paused for the ceremonial front porch Kodak moment and then headed up to the preschool/daycare to drop Treya off first. She was thrilled to find out that now that school age kids won’t be at the daycare during the day, her class has now become a group of “older” kids. Beaming, she kissed us goodbye as I reminded her to be a helper and good role model.

Next we arrived at Sherman just as a few kids started to enter the school yard. Though we were a tad early, Devi was antsy to get going and perhaps a little nervous too. She had located her room, found her desk, and met her teacher and a few classmates the day before at the ice cream social making today seem a whole lot more familiar.

Lined up outside the building waiting in anticipation for the bell to ring, it was nice to look around and see friendly faces from last year. We are not newbies any more. It an introspective moment, it felt good to realize that we sort of know what is going on AND we have a fresh new start to the year beginning in minutes. I actually felt excited for Devi and hoped that would help to keep my emotions in check this year.

Marching into the building the air was filled with the sound of slamming lockers and hellos shouted from one friend to another over the sea of bobbing heads of students and parents making their way into classrooms. Devi was several feet ahead of us in line waiting to enter room 101. She caught our gaze through the corner of her excited wide eyes. Looking back at us, flashing that huge new toothless smile she mouthed  “Will you take a picture of me at my desk?” It is in these rare and fleeting moments that I know she still thinks it is cool to have us around and I love that.

Once every one was seated, daddy snapped off a few photos while I passed out the kids’ first assignment for the teacher - a coloring sheet. The students eagerly dug into their boxes of supplies held within their desks and opened fresh boxes of crayolas. It brought back such wonderful childhood memories of my own first days of school watching them begin their first school day. From afar I observed Devi chatting with her friend about the possible color choices held within the box of crayons and realized that she could no longer see me, I had evaporated into the scenery, and she had become totally captivated by the musings of first grade. Sigh.

Hearing our cue, Pat and I waved goodbye and exited the building with the other parents. Once outside he clasped my hand as we headed toward the parking lot lightly chatting about how excited we were for Devi’s school year and about how she is growing up before our very eyes. Then there was a pause and silence.  “Another “first day” down”,  he finally said as we walked hand in hand, both just a bit misty eyed.

 Good bye summer, Hello School year!
Camping in the Mt. Rainier foothills.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it! What sweet first day of school pics. And I too have slept in a similar crooked mini van during short/awkward camping trips. (o:

-Lindley & Phill