Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kindergarten Begins!

As much as I still feel like he's still this small and we were at Baylor Grapevine just a week ago...

...Luke is eight days away from turning six years old, and oh yeah - YESTERDAY HE STARTED KINDERGARTEN! 

The day started with an attempted breakfast. He didn't eat much and got in a little bit of trouble at school later for taking out his lunchbox and eating his snack before it was time. Oops. :)

Then we loaded the car and hit the road! 

For the past eleven years, my first day of school experiences have looked very different! Usually, the first day of high school is hectic, but boy did the first day of elementary school crowd shock me! So. Many. People!! 

Luckily, Luke was unfazed by the crowds.

We did our best to get family shots in front of the school, but there were a lot of distractions.

We headed inside and went to Luke's room. His seat is right next to his teacher, much to my pleasure! (That said, she'll figure out quickly that if she doesn't want my boy messing with her laptop and iPad, she'll have to stow them somewhere clever!) 

We've actually visited school a couple of times before the big first day, and I was so thrilled that Luke went in on Day 1 all smiles and ready to go! 

And as for Jeremy and me? Well, we did a lot better than I thought in terms of the tears. :) At least Luke didn't see either of us cry! 

I had been a nervous wreck about the kindergarten transition for... well, a long time. I can tell you with confidence that God is so faithful and answers prayers, because I have been praying for Luke to feel safe, to learn, and to grow socially, and I have prayed fervently that he have teachers to take care of him and help him be his best. It was roughly five months ago that I filled out the list of preferred campuses on my transfer request, and GES was my second choice! How fortunate that God knows better than I do where Luke is supposed to be! The combination of having time on my hands and being worried didn't exactly stop me from being the kind of conscientious, frequently-emailing-and-calling parent that we high school teachers make fun of. However, everyone I messaged at this school - and the list includes the data secretary, the principal, assistant principal, special education teachers, and kindergarten teachers - has been kind, considerate, empathetic, helpful, thorough, thoughtful... seriously, just insert all the positive adjectives into this sentence. 

And Luke's kindergarten teacher? I love her. It's just the second day of school, and after exchanging several emails and having a meeting today following Luke's assessment (every kid has one - it's not just me being high maintenance :D), it's like I just feel God's hand on my shoulder telling me my boy is in good hands. Thank the Lord for Mrs. Eubank! 

Here is the Dream Team of Luke's kindergarten teacher, paraprofessionals*, and special education teachers. 

*Just for the curious: Luke will spend the vast majority of his time included in the mainstream kindergarten class. My understanding - and it's early, of course - is that a paraprofessional will be nearby to help support Luke and his classmates. 

Do you know how amazing Luke's dream team is? Because I got TEXT MESSAGES throughout the first day letting me know how he was doing, including this picture of my sweetie getting his supplies set! :) 

To be frank, the clock moved at a snail's pace between 7:45 and 11:45 a.m. - we just have half-days until Thursday - but a quick braving of the pick-up line and we were on our way, per Luke's request, to get some chicken nuggets. Yes, sir! :)

In short: though there were some hiccups, Luke had a great first day, and an even better second! I was so relieved today that Luke walked into the school happy - since he doesn't yet have the language to give me a vivid report himself, his going in with a smile tells me all I need to know. 

That said, I'm not naive, and I know that it's going to take a while for him to get in the groove completely - and me too for that matter! But for the time being, I am beaming with thankfulness about how well the first two days have gone. The Lord has blessed us with a sweet boy full of potential, and, even better, He has blessed us with a team of professionals who see the same in him. I'm excited to see what lies in store for Luke in the coming year! 

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