Monday, November 15, 2010

New Monday: Pre-K

My Gabey went to Pre-K today.
I can hardly believe it.
No, really....
I hadn't planned, last summer, to send him yet.
And I've never been a huge "gotta go" kinda gal with pre-k programs.
And last August, when school began, he wasn't ready for anything other than time home, with me.
So that is what we did.
It was great.

But lately, that time has morphed into a strange "at loose ends" time with him.
Not for me. I rarely have time with loose ends....or, more precisely, I'm busy sweeping up and tying up those loose ends all day every day.
No, what I'm talking about is my Gabey.  He ended loose ends.
He went from being content with me, following me around, helping me, hanging out with me, learning colors with spending the bulk of his day wishing for something he couldn't get.  Asking for it.
As soon as we dropped off the kids at school, he began: "Can I watch tv?" No. "Is it lunch?" No. "Can I have a cookie?" No. and, the most frequent question of all...asked countless times a day, "Is it time to go pick up the kids?"  Um, no, sorry honey.

Now before I get flamed, I did all the enrichment stuff. We worked on colors and shapes and went for walks and talked about birds and looked at acorns and read books.
I can do the mom thing, I can.  I did.
But my other "mom thing" also means dragging him along on many many doc appointments for the other six kiddos who are still at home {dentist, orthodontist, therapists, dermos....and so on, just do the count, it adds up and keeps me driving...}.  Not exactly enriching stuff.  So - he's been restless.  My gut told me, it's time.  That and his electric radar for any other kids around when we are out and about on errands; his racing them in the vet's waiting room, waving at every kid in the market, striking up kiddie convo's at the orthodontist.  It started to be clear that he was ready for a wider social life than me.

So, last week we visited our school's pre-k program.  It's excellent; the best in our county, with an wonderful teacher I've long admired.  (No, she doesn't read the blog, I can't score points here, shame on you...however, she IS the best pre-k teacher in our area, hands down, fantastic! No way is that a shameless plug....really...).
He was a little nervous to start his visit day.  It helped that his big brother and best friend on the planet was across the hall (like...close: you could shoot a rubber band over if you were inclined...not that my boys would think of that, ahem, because that would get a yellow card...).

 He was paired with a nice little boy buddy to show him the pre-k ropes for that visit day.  I was nervous. I hung out in the library, being mostly useless during the quiet morning of book fair.  After his day was done, he pitched a huge out-of-character fit in the office.  I was sure he was tired, overwhelmed.  But as we got in the car to head home, I learned otherwise: he was bent, just ticked off.  He wanted to stay.  He wanted to stay in school and not go home yet.  Oh!  He calmed and told me again and again about the class, the kids, the rug, the reading, the parade (lining up), the tools (toy tools), the girl (curly hair, quite the talker).  He asked to go tomorrow.  That has been his new question, usurping the others: "Am I going to school now?" Meaning, whenever we get in the car, regardless of time of day.  He asked me, relentlessly, "Can I go to school" after his visit.

So, yes, my Gabey, you can go to school.

And so today he did.
And, yes, I had to blink back the tears when I kissed him goodbye and told him I'd be back later.

It's my first time in the house, alone on a school day, for over eight years.  Read that again: eight years...gosh maybe longer, I'd have to really sit down and chart it out to know precisely.  I hardly know what to do with myself.  So, I'm procrastinating a bit.  I'm gonna start by cleaning.....And, on a make me smile and breath easy note, the school JUST called and said "He is having an awesome day and smiling and happy." I love this school.  For just this reason, they call the kinda nervous moms to let them know their littles are doing great.  Nice.

Eight years, and it's a new Monday.
It's good. It's weird.  But it's good.


Julie said...

Cutest Pre-K'er ever!

Bernie said...

It's obvious you and your family are a gift to Gabe but he may very well be the larger gift to you in return. Enjoy the peace for now Mom, because tomorrow will bring more taxi service, practices and commitments. Your blog brightened the day of this empty nester..


Chris and Jess said...

I'm crying and I don't know why....I start to think about my sweet little boy with the backpack, and the toy tools and the new friends and the tears well up. :) I love that he's so happy and how stinkin' cute is he in those pictures!!!! What a doll!

Christine said...

He looks so pleased with himself. Sweet lil' punkin'!

Ellen said...

I got misty, too! =)

He looks so precious and ready to face the day!!

Jen said...

He is the cutest pre-k kid ever:) Look how sharp he looks. so cute. Can't wait to hea rhow the day went for him.

tupton said...

I don't care how many kids you have, there is nothing worse than a quiet house when the littlest goes to school. Sad day.

Rebecca said...

Such a cute boy! I'm glad he's loving it. And I
hope you're enjoying a little bit of quiet time!

Zoe said...

Congrats-- that's big. Sweet boy.

Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

But... but... he's getting older. I've watched him get older before my eyes (on your blog). And that means *I'm* getting older...