I took a bunch of shots with them at the rear of my car, and kept telling Alex to OPEN his eyes and stop making goofy faces, AT LEAST ONCE!
He stopped with the faces, but kept his eyes closed.
"Alex. WHY WON'T YOU OPEN YOUR EYES?????"
"Well Mom, it's because the sun keeps getting in my eyes."
I moved them over to the side of the house and things improved a smidge.
Julia pretty much hammed it up in every shot. Really? Couldn't see that coming.
And yes, those are metallic pink sneakers she's wearing.
I think the shot below is the only one in which Julia ISN'T mugging for the camera. They were looking at our friends across the street.
Julia actually started pre-K on Monday, but since Alex went back to school today, I waited to do the "first day" pictures.
Alex is in the first grade this year. There are two first grade classes in his school, I've heard great things about both teachers, so I really didn't care which teacher he had – I was more interested in which of his morning kindergarten classmates would be in there with him. So we all met up this morning and got the kids sorted out, met the new teacher, saw his kindergarten teacher and said hi to her (I love her. I wish she could just be his teacher in every grade. Including college.) And yes, some of his friends are in the same class, some aren't, as expected, but they'll see each other for various things the two classes do together.
He stood there in line looking so serious. He confessed, once we got to the school, that he was feeling "a little bit shy." Up til then he'd been all excited about the first day, but, expectedly, that changed when we reached the back of the building and there were a ton of parents and kids milling around, checking the lists and finding where to stand.
Oh, Alex. I was like that. I was "a little bit shy" too. I still am, in some situations – new situations, where there are people I don't know, and some of them are louder and more boisterous than I am. It is my nature – and yours – to hang back a bit at first and watch…to assess the situation…to get my bearings…to figure out how and where I fit into the puzzle. With age (usually) comes the ability to fake it until you feel more sure of yourself, but right now, I know you are just holding yourself together and being a big boy.
All the parents stood around taking pictures with their cell phones and smiling big at their little student-children. It's real school now. First grade. I kept wanting to go over to Alex and make him smile. Make him relax. Make him feel not so shy. But I can't do that for him. That's all stuff he's going to have to learn to do on his own.
But still, I couldn't help myself, I squeezed through some other parents and went over to kiss him on the head and look into his guarded eyes and tell him "Don't smile." Our game. And then he smiles. Today? Well, he flashed a quick one and went back to looking serious and introspective. I told him I loved him, and then backed away a bit so flabby parts of me wouldn't end up in other parents' snapshots of their new-clothes-wearing, hair-in-place, shiny-faced kids.
And then, in a blink, their teacher was telling them to wave to their parents and then turn and follow her into the building. Alex didn't hear the part about waving – he just saw the kids on either side turning to the right, so followed suit and off he went, march, march, march.
I hollered "Alex!" so I could wave to him once more, but he didn't hear me. It was so noisy.
I watched the back of him. His short blond hair, his bright yellow shirt, his blue backpack.
And then he turned the corner and went inside.
Julia and I walked home, and then I brought her to daycare/pre-K.
And OH, what a different scenario it was there.
It's her third day, but for SOME reason – I'm thinking maybe all the excitement wrapped around Alex's first day – she adhered herself to my upper body and eventually had to be pried off with a crowbar. Okay, not a crowbar. But pretty close – one of the teachers had to peel her off me. And you know how sometimes when you're trying to peel something off of something else, say, a "30% off" sticker off a book? And sometimes the sticker is easily removed and other times you have to pick and pick and pick at the edges, and even after you get it off, you've still got tiny bits of sticker glue residue still stuck to the book and there are little thumb nail tracks embedded in the dustjacket?
That's kind of how it went with Julia. That glue residue and thumb nail tracks part.
It's a good thing stickers don't cry – the book would get all wet.
I know she will be fine, I know she will have stopped crying within 27.42 seconds of my departure. But still. I don't want her to cry. And to keep bawling "mommymommymommy" over and over. She'll adjust, and it'll get easier as she gets back into this routine. I hope.
It's been a rather emotionally tumultuous morning for Mommy.
I think I'll go bake some cookies.