First day of school – 2014



And so a new school year begins….
Mario in First and Ri in Fourth. We had one school year – last year – where the kids were both in the same building. It passed too quickly, and now we have Ri heading to the Intermediate school just a few blocks from our street and Mario staying at the Elementary school about a mile away. Ri has to be to school by 8 am (and will deal with nothing less than being ten minutes early) and Mario has to be at school by 8:15 (and could care less if he’s there early). It made for an interesting first morning. Jon and I had to draw straws to see who took who. Actually, we didn’t in the end because we both knew who Mario would want to take him. Jon. He’s a huge dad fan lately. So Ri and I started up our street at 7:35 am hoping to meet some friends along the way. We found Nora!

Then Lucia!

And then throngs of kids in front of the school doors. Ri talked with random friends and then the teacher came out to welcome them. I snuck in behind Ri and got to see her classroom. She promptly shoo’d me away and I obeyed. But not before making sure her school supplies were in the room. They weren’t. Great. I confirmed with her teacher that they wouldn’t need them today and found the name of the PTO rep who I needed to call. I swore I ordered her supplies not once, but twice on line just to be safe. She’s the child that will freak out if everything is not in order. I left without even telling her so she wouldn’t stress all day and promptly called the rep to make sure I could have her supplies by tomorrow.
Then I biked like Lance Armstrong down to Mario’s school. When I arrived, there was a line around the school to enter. I cut through it and I made it to Mario’s room in time to see him planted in his seat ready to learn.


I had managed to get his supplies ordered ( the child who could care less). One star for me. Mario was quiet and shy. He began to draw on the sheet of paper in front of him that had the words “Summer, I did….” He kept glancing around at friends coming in the classroom. He doesn’t have any of his football buddies or previous boys from Kindergarten in the classroom but I know he will make quick friends. My girlfriend sent me this darling GQ-like picture from earlier in the morning.

It was much easier to drop off this year than last year when Mario cried and cried. He’s growing up.
I biked over to Ri’s school at lunch. They had a 4-8th grade cookout. They were dancing to the YMCA song and running everywhere. Ri was her chill self sitting on the jungle gym.
“Why don’t you go dance, Ri?”
“I don’t want to.”
I smiled and rubbed her dangling foot. I’m learning to stand back. As much as I want to advise her on who to play with and who to befriend, I’ve got to let her be and trust that she will figure it out like we all did as young girls.
I biked from work at 2:30 to catch Mario after school. He came running out happy as can be
and chatting with his buddies. He confirmed he had a great day – thank goodness. I expected Ri to be down there when I arrived but she was not. I started to ridiculously fret that maybe she went home instead or got kidnapped or had to walk alone or… You name it, I thought it.
I got a text at 2:55 from Ri’s friend, Evie informing me that Ri wanted to talk to me.
“Mom, we are at the top of the hill;can I go say hi to Mrs. Pharion?”
I was relieved she had made it down from Edison and that she was not asking me to pick her up (she is not my walker girl). When I caught up with her, I asked her how the walk to Stevenson was. She said “great.” I was very happy to hear that word; hopefully she will continue to like walking home with Kathryn and Evie. It’s good for her. It also led to her pleading for a phone like Evie has and ten justifications for having one. This will an on-going battle this year, I am sure.
By the time I got done talking to Maria, Mario had decided to go with Stephanie and Quinn to DQ. Sophie ran over to Ri to ask her to go. Ri planted a big hug on her.

And they were off for after-school ice cream with their buddies. First day over and done with – grateful to see it end with smiles and friends.

Summer’s End

Maria started first grade today.  There we all stood at 8:05 this morning waiting for the side doors to the school to open.  Parents huddled together chatting about how quickly the summer flew by and how old the kids looked.  The kids stood at guard against their parents thighs anxious and nervous to start another year. 

Maria woke up this morning in a pleasant, calm mood (much better than she had been the night before – worried and cranky about starting school).  She wore a dress that Mama Ionno had bought her this Summer.  One thing I love about my girl is that she was not all about buying new outfits for school.  She is like her parents that way – Jon and I rarely go out to shop; only in desperation.  I could not believe the number of women who asked her if she bought a new dress for the first day of school.  It didn’t bother her though – she simply replied with a “uh-uh” and moved on her merry way.  Of course, I act as if she is some holier than thou girl who shuns all material goods.  I must admit that when I asked her what she wanted to do before her first day of school, she did not say “go shopping” much to my liking but she did say “Get a manicure and pedicure.”  And after getting a manicure and pedicure, I realized it would have been a lot cheaper to just buy a dress!

Maria's pedi (including a peace sign)

When the first bell rung, we all herded through the doors and up the stairs to Maria’s Room 203.  Her teacher hastily greeted us and took our paperwork and invited Maria to have a seat.  Maria had a book about Arthur at her seat.  She liked that.  She is sitting at a table with two boys.  I am sure she liked that, too.  She sat in her seat and put on her name tag.  She looked like a lot of the other kids.  Nervous; bewildered; slightly excited.  I kept giving her hugs and kisses until she finally said in an exasperated tone “Mom” and shooed me out with her hand.  She is no longer my baby kindergartener. 

I left work early to pick her up from school.  She smiled so big when she saw me which makes all of the make-up work I had to do tonight on the computer so worth it.  But when she walked up to me, the first thing out of her mouth was not “I love you mom; thanks for getting me.” No, instead it was “Where’s Zach?”  Zach is her new best friend who lives one block over from us.  She walked home with Zach and Zach’s mom and I tried like mad to get them to talk about their first day of school.  They just goofed off and ignored us.  We did learn that Maria’s favorite part of the day was lunch and that recess is before lunch this year.  But that was about it. 

Reading Arthur

She got homework for tonight – she had to find three things that reflect who she is or what she likes.  She chose a flag of Michigan since she loved to vacation there with Jon and me; a pair of goggles since she loves to swim; and a marker because she likes to draw.  She did not want to read with me for ten minutes and when I tried to help her pronounce words, she got flustered.  We stuck with one book only tonight.  Baby steps – we still have another nine months to go…