And this wasn't just the first week of school. This was Jack's first week of Kindergarten, Jude's first week of preschool, both boys first week of soccer, my first week of MOPS, and Jon's first week of working 1am-9am (and sleeping 10am-6pm). It was pretty major. Which is why I'm celebrating with a houseful of sleeping kids and big bowl 'o ice cream!
|The sun *may* have been in their eyes.|
We knew it was going to be a doozy of a week so we decided to get out of dodge over Labor Day weekend and sail away to New Jersey. (Cue Jude growling, "New Jersey, where you have to pay to go on the roads!) We literally did sail away... well, kinda. We drove next to our favorite Delaware State Park on Friday morning and took the Cape May - Lewes Ferry across to visit the home of our wonderful friends Phil, Abi, 'Lil Rae, and Baby Urijah.
First we stopped off in adorable Cape May to give the girls a chance to finish up their car naps. Jon and the kids climbed the light house and we drove down the main street to ooo and awww over all the gorgeous Victorian beach homes. And then we went to "fwends' house," as Julia would say all weekend, and they made us their famous grilled pizza, and grilled dessert pizza. And we also had Cantaloupe Cucumber Pistachio salad, and some Dutch pancake I can't pronounce, and a watermelon chicken salad, and fish tacos, and coconut chocolate chip cookies ... because while the main reason we visit NJ is to see our old and awesome friends, the second reason is because they feed us SO WELL!!
|This is so Lia.|
|Poppie was getting some big giggles out of his youngest grandchild!|
|Nonnie and Joci feeding the seagulls ... and keeping Mommy out of Joci's line of sight!|
|There's nothing quite like an hour and a half wait for 6 kids 5 and under ...|
|Apparently Kindergarteners don't like having their pictures taken ...|
|This was "sneak peak" day for the classrooms. Julia was more interested than Jack! (And I admit, there are days when I wish she was the one going off to Kindergarten!)|
|Good news, he's the only Jack in his class!|
So I decided to venture out to that place I avoid at all costs--Walmart. And on a holiday no less. Crazy was an understatement. I looked everywhere. The school supplies, lunch box aisle, food storage section, camping supplies, kitchen supplies. Nothing. Finally, I spotted one. ONE. While walking by the Legos. I seized on it like a seagull on a sandwich. And that was the end of my Kindergarten preparations. Time to face the music, mama!
|Night before school hair cuts!|
|First day of school smoothies!|
|She was just as excited as the ones who were actually going to school!|
|She's smiling because everyone else is smiling!|
|And he's fighting having his picture taken because he's in Kindergarten now ...|
|I took three grumpy pictures before I decided to yell "Legos" and he gave me this smile.|
Jack also made sure to inform me that he told his teacher that "she's a good teacher" yesterday and today he told Charlie that he liked his shirt. And then Jack asked me if he could get a ticket (our reward system) for being so nice to his classmates. Ummm ... we'll need to think about that one.
|Waiting for Big Yellow.|
I didn't cry, though. I was very, very close. But then Jude was already late for preschool, and Joci was screaming in the car, and Julia was playing in the front seat, pushing random buttons. And then right after preschool we went grocery shopping. And then home to unload, and feed the baby, and make lunch, and do laundry ... and I never really had a chance to cry. But believe me, I could have.
Jack looked so nervous the first time he got on the bus. But now, he's an old pro. He LOVES the bus. And the rest of us kind of enjoy it too. We stand out by the driveway listening for the squeak of the brakes down as it reaches the corner and the first flash of yellow as it rounds the bend. And then we patiently wait for the lights to flash and the stop sign to pop out before Jack confidently crosses the street, and turns to give me one last wave and "bye mom!!" before heading off to school.
And then the kids and I do the same thing in the afternoon, anxiously awaiting the little guy that has no qualms about running to his mom at the end of the school day.
|My new favorite time of day!|
And while we're on the subject of funny things he's said. He also asked me to stop making him quesadillas with black beans in them because "the more you eat the more you toot. And I stinkered THREE TIMES in school today!"
Then there was yesterday. You see, each morning before the bus comes, Jack and I have prayed together for his school day--that he'd make new friends, be a good listener, be a blessing to his teacher... so on Thursday Jack grabs my hand and says "Can you pray that I finish all my lunch?" I guess he was a little upset that he didn't get to eat everything on his first day (they only get 25 minutes total for lunch!) and needed a little supernatural assistance in that area.
And our favorite so far--apparently a kid on the bus was wearing a Raven's jersey so Jack told him, "If you like the Ravens, you're no son of my dad!" (The boys like to tease Jon by saying they like the Raven's and then Jon always responds with, "What? You're no son of mine!" Don't tell the psychologists!!)
So yes, as challenging as this week has been, we've had some comic relief along the way!
|Dreaming over a Scholastic book order ... I used to do the same thing when I was a kid!|
I keep telling myself this is part of the process, the lifelong process of letting go, relaxing my grip on my kids. This is good for him, and it's good for me. But it's still hard. But so far (as in 4 days down, 176 to go!) it's going well. And there's a happy little boy in his bed tonight (that was able to finish ALL his lunch today), and that makes me happy too.