Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Amiel's first day of school

Today started earlier than usual with a wake-up rooster crowing at 6:30. There was a school bus to catch at 7:45!
As the alarm didn't seem to have much effect on our little scholar we had to employ the wake-up rattle-snake to rouse his weary bones! Miriam would have slept through the whole thing if we hadn't muscled her awake as well. A spiffy outfit of tan shorts, a short-sleeved shirt (one we got in Portland this past summer), and mismatched socks was chosen for the momentous day. Ami ate a "green egg" (kiwi fruit) and a piece of homemade toast to start his day and we headed out the door at 7:30 to walk up the hill to the school bus stop situated at Cedar and Le Roy. The entourage up the hill consisted of Amiel, Martin, Katie, Mary Anne, and a very sleepy Miriam. I decided to drive to the bus-stop in case our boy decided that he wasn't ready to ride the bus alone this morning and because I planned to meet him at his school when his bus arrived. Our new neighbours Lynne and Oryah came with me. Oryah is also enrolled at Washington in grade 2. The whole troupe of us waited at the appointed corner and it wasn't long before the great big yellow school bus came around the corner and down the hill. Without nary and ounce of fear (or even a look back to his nervous support group!) Ami boarded that bus and strode down the aisle to find a seat for himself. The bus had only a handful of kids on it and the bus driver was willing to take Oryah on the bus even though she isn't yet registered as a rider. Oryah is a very sweet girl and she got on and sat with our little boy!
After the bus departed we all looked at each other and confirmed that all of us were really not sure that he would be willing to go on the bus this morning. It is hard to gauge what makes him nervous but this was one thing we were all worried about. Then Lynne and I drove down to the school to await the bus...
We found a couple with a baby who had done exactly the same thing as us with their kindergartener daughter so we stood awaiting the bus arrival together. I'm not sure that we need have been there as the kids were greeted by the principal Rita Kimbell. She meets the bus kids every day and scurries them off to the school yard.

As you can see Ami managed to forget his backpack on the bus so we got to have our first lesson in not forgetting things! Luckily we noticed its absence when the bus was still sitting at the stop!
Ami and I made our way into the school yard where we found out that he was assigned to Ms Kessel's class. This is an arbitrary class list as there are 4 Kindergarten classes at Washington and the 4 teachers get to rotate around the classrooms for the first 3 days before they "balance" the classes" and finalize the class list. I hope that he gets to be in a classroom that is not in the basement.
Here he is about to go into his classroom from the school yard.Here he is on his chosen square (if there were a yellow one I'm sure that he would have picked it!)

The teacher told a story and then read a story (Miss Bindergarten gets ready for Kindergarten) and Ami was one of the students to offer some tidbit of his own experience during the telling. The parents were invited to be in the classroom for about 10 minutes and then we were dismissed (kicked-out) to go to the library to have coffee and Q & A with the principal and some PTA members.

So after that Lynne and I came home...
It was fairly strange to not have him around all day. Miriam (who was hanging out with Katie and Mary Anne while I was busy at the school) is such a different person and she happily plays with her toys and busies herself so easily that it feels somehow that I am not really parenting her. The house is quiet and restful without our boy.
Miriam and Martin and I hung out and it didn't seem too long before I started worrying about picking up the boy from the bus stop. It was an early release day today so the kids ended school at 1:30. Mimi and I went to wait for the bus at about 1:50 (since it is about a 10 minute drive...) but little Ams was the last off the bus and the only rider at 2:20 when he finally made it to Cedar and Le Roy. He looked a bit shell shocked, hot and tired and in the style of every child who goes to school did not have much to say about school when asked...

The report from the first day
Me: what was your favourite part?
Amiel: All of it - except the sunny part.

Things I have learned about the first day of school
He had snack (breakfast) provided by the school of a small bag of "Gorilla Munch" cereal, milk and the "worst peach in the world"!
He didn't eat all of his lunch (but he ate it when he got home!)
He played outside, read books, built things with blocks and legos, and met 2 other kindergarten teachers (Ms Wash -and the easy to remember- Miss Mimi!)
All in all he had a great day and wants to go back for more tomorrow. I will report on anything else I find out!!

I am amazed that I managed to make it though 5+ years as the principal care giver without giving up entirely. I am excited for Ami and his learning and new experiences and I hope that what I have provided for his life education will stand him in good stead and keep him safe.

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