This time, I'm bending the rules, because I can't actually remember what I was doing five years ago. However, with my amazing powers of deduction and mathmatics, I can tell you that my son was then 6 years old... and beginning his first day of First Grade. Every year is the same - the sadness that summer is over, the anxiety of wondering if anyone will like you, and wondering if you look stupid in that outfit that Mom picked out.
I have to tell you that today, five years later - not much has changed. My boy posed for his "first day of school" picture:
I drove him to school. Incoming sixth graders were to meet in the gym with their parents for a short orientation before beginning the day. ZBoy got a letter this summer stating that because of his test grades, he was a level five (highest) student and would get to sit in a designated area and be recognized for his academic achievement so far in his school career.
So we get there and have a seat in the second row. The principal goes over a few rules, gives a little pep talk and a demonstration of correct dress code dressing. She asks the level 5s to stand up and be recognized and hands out gift certificates for free pizza to us. Finally, she says that when she calls your homeroom teacher's name, to get up and follow that teacher to your homeroom.
Z and I looked at each other. We didn't know who his homeroom teacher was. Then I did the unthinkable. I raised my hand. As ZBoy slumped down in his chair in shame, I asked the principal what we should do if we didn't know who our teacher was. She said to wait until the other students had left, then to go check the wall next to the office. The mom behind me leaned forward and thanked me for asking - she didn't know who her daughter's teacher was either.
We found the teacher. We found the room. A quick hug and ZBoy walked into his homeroom and out of his little-boyhood. I admit to a couple of tears on the way back to my car.
When school got out, I was there waiting for him. I watched for his navy and white striped polo shirt for a long time, when finally he appeared, bringing up the rear of a whole herd of students. He waved, and as he drew nearer, I realized that he was actually wearing a smile.
He ran over to me, hugged me and said, "Mom - I LOVE middle school!"
We went to TCBY to celebrate with frozen yogurt (brain freeze!). He told me all about his first day. His first period class is steel drums. He's got a shop class! He loves his teachers except one who is kind of a drill sergeant but he likes that guy anyway. His favorite is his math teacher (given last year's math problems, I'm hoping this bodes well for his future interest in math).
Yeah... Sixth grade isn't going to be as bad as he thought it would be!