Friday, September 16, 2016

Clara's 1st Day of School 2016 - Kindergarten

Well, I'm only a month behind on this blog.  Whoopsies.  But better late than never, right?  

Clara started Kindergarten on Monday, August 15, 2016 at Dublin Elementary School.  She was so, so excited for school to start and had talked about it for days and weeks beforehand.  There was the slightest bit of nervousness about it the day before or the morning of and when it came time to walk into her classroom, meet her teacher, and find her seat, she was confident, grinning, and eager to get things started.  We couldn't have been more proud of her.  

A few days before school started, I took Clara shopping for school supplies and a new outfit for the first day of school.  I adore the dress we found for her at the J. Crew outlets and you could tell that she was really pleased with it.  But what she loved best, was going to Target and picking up school supplies.  I had the school list in hand and would tell her she needed 3 glues, or 2 boxes of crayons, or a box of colored pencils, and she would run around like she was in that old gameshow "Supermarket Sweep" grabbing things and tossing them into our cart.  She even crowed, "School supply shopping is so much fun!!" and my mother/nerd heart burst.  

I know that these photos are overkill but she was slaying me with her "Kindergartner poses" and kept telling me to take another picture.  I really don't know where she gets this stuff because I don't pose her when I want to take pictures.  

The night before school started, we had a "Back to School Feast" that consisted of Clara's favorite meal - whole grilled fish, a salad and vegetables, and cheesy garlic swirl rolls.  I decorated the table with a bouquet that Clara had picked out (it was just a grocery store one meant for a teacher with a fake little apple in it and as soon as Clara saw it she set her heart on having it on our table for our feast) and some printable vintage alphabet cards that I found on a blog through Pinterest.  And afterwards she and Rose both got their start-of-school-year father's blessings from Paul.  

I'm glad that we got to school plenty early on the first day because traffic was intense and finding parking was (and is) kind of difficult sometimes.  I wish that we lived within walking distance of her school so we didn't have to do the driving thing.  Clara was happy to see some friends from preschool last year and friends from church who are also going to Kindergarten or D-K (it's a transitional preschool program that is state sponsored for Sept.-Dec. birthdays - it's basically Kindergarten except the kids in D-K will do full-fledged Kindergarten the following year).  

When it was time to line up to walk into her class, I realized that Clara was the ONLY child without a character on her backpack.  My sister, Jennie, had mentioned that her oldest, Emma, had noticed that last year and brought it up when she was in Kindergarten.  I'm not sure if Clara has or will notice, but there were girls whose clothes, shoes, and even hairbows, not to mention backpacks and lunchboxes had Anna and Elsa on them.  Fortunately, Clara still seems pretty enamored with her all purple backpack and lunchbox set-up.  

Rose didn't cry when we dropped Clara off, but every single day for the past 4 weeks that Clara has been going to school, Rose has asked me at least 4 or 5 times where Clara is and suggests we go get her, starting about 5 or 10 minutes after dropping her off.  But she and I have been having some nice one-on-one time which Rose hasn't had a whole lot of, being the second child.  We have a fun tradition of pointing to each other back and forth as we are walking back to the car and saying "You & me! You & me!" which is something Rose latched onto that first day when I told her, "Well, Rose, looks like it's just you and me now" and she smiled and said "You - Me!" pointing between herself and me.  It's a fun little bonding thing we have that I just love.

Clara's teacher actually taught for 15 years or something like that before becoming a principal for 13 years.  Then she retired but after her husband died, she decided she wanted to go back to work, so this is her second year back teaching again.  So far she seems very nice and Clara seems to like her.  I finally have a volunteer schedule worked out and get to start working in the class next week so I will get to see more of what things are like then as the information I get out of Clara is still pretty sparse, other than recess is her favorite (she always says that she plays "Kitties" with a couple of other kids), she is super excited for the upcoming Jaws-a-Thon (the school's mascot is a shark so the jog-a-thon is a jaws-a-thon and at the room parent's meeting I heard more than one parent, on more than one occasion, describe upcoming events as "jaw-some" - it's super weird but I'm trying to not roll my eyes about it).

I made a short video of some clips of Clara getting ready for her first day of Kindergarten that I'm including with this post (and is one of the reasons it is so delayed).  This is only my second video and there is a lot I would have done differently, but I love that I captured some of her expressions and silliness at 5 1/2.  We sure love having a Kindergartner in our family.

Clara's First Day of Kindergarten - 2016 from Amy Nash on Vimeo.