Friday, August 29, 2008

First in First

The first child. He paves the way for the rest. He breaks in to the heart of his mom and others, he makes a nest in there, and then the time comes when he leaves the nest for over 6 hours a day, 5 days a week and my heart seems to big for my chest and quite empty. This is how I have felt about the first week of school. I am glad he is out there - we both need it - but around lunchtime I have a phantom limb, I want him resting his head on my hip, asking for a popsicle. Caroline wants her big brother, Joey wants his favorite entertainment.

I have a lump in my throat right now, sad and happy and proud all at the same time. I love public school. I love most of what it has to offer. I wish it offered air conditioning in the classrooms, but alas, there is none. Eli has always been a friend maker. He doesn't even have to know your name, if you give a good vibe, count him in. In his class are two of his favorite buddies from last year, and a room full of new ones. School has a few of his favorite things: friends, recess, learning from someone other than his mother and new big kid cred. Eli loves to learn new things, his mind soaks it up. His teacher is new to our school, pretty new to teaching, has a great 1st grade teacher voice, wants to push them to do more, try harder and be kids. I couldn't be more thrilled.

I am having a hard time finding the balance. He gets home near 4, we should eat around 5:30, bed for Joey is early, I need E and Caroline in bed earlier than they are getting in. But I want him to have time to decompress, wiggle, smile wearily and get his homework done. So far it has been very unsettling. He reads really well, but not for me. I think that we come together at the hardest time of the day for each of us. By 4:45p I am close to throwing in the towel, I need to learn to keep my patience for him. He is tired, his brain is a little rattled (a full day of school for a 6 year old is tough!). He still wants his rock-star lifestyle of friends and fun, but I feel the need to set some rules and regulations. Please feel free to offer any advice of what works for you and what does not. No really, I need the help.
I miss the boy, but this boy is destined for knowledge and goodness. He'll never purposely let anyone know just how bright he is. Not that he plays dumb. He is humble and kind. I worry that he will learn how to be cocky and mean at school, but hopefully he will learn that his humility and kindness is even more important. My dad has always loved E's face, he thinks it is fresh, beautiful and perfect. I agree and I hope his schoolmates are appreciating seeing it all day long.


Through the Looking Glass said...

Beauty, beauty, beauty. That was delightful with a side of delicious. He has a perfect face - one that looks perfectly like yours, might I add. It is so hard to have them gone because it is so strangely wonderful but so strangely... strange. Then when they're home they're in a hurry to explore, play, be free and you can hardly get two words about their day out of their mouths.

My only advice is that it doesn't get any easier to connect by second grade, so you have to be diligent about prying their life out of them and forcing them to open up; create an environment of sharing in your home, I think.

You look purdy in your picture, by the way.

Heather said...

Whit, I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I'm glad I did. Your kids are so cute. Sending your first off to school for the whole day is hard. I always found it difficult (and still do) to get him to tell me anything about his day so last year when he would get home I would have him tell me his 3 favorite parts of the day and that seemed to open him up. I also set days of the week that he could have friends over after school, that helped me keep a schedule, get homework done and let him have some fun!
Sorry for the unwarrented comments, but I had to say hi! check us out

Heather Miller Empey - Ya know from Jerusalem!!!

Melissa said...

Whitney, we have boys the same age. Dallin did have full day kindergarten last year and I knew he wasn't quite ready for it. It's a long time and he always came home exhausted. So, now he's in first, we're used to that, but regardless that 2-3 hour span before dinner is always the hardest of my day. Dallin is very similar in that he isn't interested in reading with me right now. I make him do it anyway, but I wish I had ideas on how to make it more enjoyable for him. When he gets home, all he wants to do is play and decompress. I'm anxious to read any other suggestions others might have.

Charlie Cooper said...

I don't have any suggestions either but it's nice to hear that you have to pry details out of E too. I'm not sure if Britt doesn't remember what he did all day or if he doesn't know where to start. Loved the pictures!!!-Angel