I put on my brave mom face for him. Don't tell him, but I actually hate leaving him at school all day in the care of a stranger. I gave him lots of encouragement and told him how great first grade will be. I reminded him of all the things he knows this year that he didn't know last year. I lied and told him I'm excited for his school year.
Nolan was amazing this morning. He told me he was nervous, and I could clearly tell that he was. He said his stomach was upset and I had to answer honestly, "Yeah, my stomach gets upset whenever I'm nervous too."
Everyone got ready, and I took some pictures of Nolan before we left.
Last year I made Nolan a shirt for his first day of school. This year I didn't think about it because we were on vacation (and I was in denial that he had to start a new school year). I mentally berated myself for not meeting my own expectations as a mom. Then I
He wore his Avengers shirt. And used his Avengers back pack from last year.
And he got a new Avengers lunch box for this year.
We also bought him an Avengers pencil pouch and Avengers stickers for his morning sticker chart. So I'm thinking he's okay with the shirt.
He was also super excited to wear the new shoes that we bought yesterday.
As we were walking to the school, Griffin got very excited remembering how last year I used to let him run ahead of me as long as he stopped at certain landmarks (this pole was one).
I wanted to take a picture of Nolan in front of the school, but there were so many people going in and coming out. I managed to snap a few, and Nora and Griffin quickly joined Nolan.
And finally, I snuck one quick (terrible lighting) picture of Nolan as he walked into his classroom. I was kneeling from hugging him, and I was putting all my energy into not crying.
Nolan didn't cry at all. And he didn't cling to me and refuse to walk in the room like last year. I was so very proud of him for being so brave.
I was nervous but pushing through it and keeping my emotions perfectly in check...until another mom made a rude comment to me. Simply because I was walking in a door through which she was walking out. Note to all other mothers: not only should we be nice to each other on a daily basis and not get upset by silly things like a one-second traffic jam, but we should be especially kind and gracious to each other on the first day of school. Emotions are a little more sensitive for some of us on that day.
After Nolan walked into his classroom, I turned to walk back up the hallway with my two little ones. Nora paused before she started walking and said, "I don't want to miss Nolan." Oh, my dear, neither do I!
I am anxiously waiting to go pick Nolan up after school so I can hear his report of how it went.
Having a child in school requires a lot of faith. I have to trust God to take care of Nolan in the places where I can't be. I trust that God placed Nolan in this class with this teacher and these classmates. I trust that God will comfort him when he is sad. I trust God to keep him company when he is lonely. My only alternative is to never let him leave my side so I can always take care of him. And I'm told that's not conducive to him growing up and getting married and giving me grandbabies.
I'm not 100% sold, but for now I'll stick with letting him go to first grade.
UPDATE: Nolan had a great day! He didn't cry at all and said, "I didn't even feel like crying one time." This is huge. Last year it took us two months to get to this point. This year he had a fantastic first day. He told me he really likes his teacher and he already made lots of friends. Seriously. Thank you, God, for answering all my prayers for my precious son today!