Two posts in one day on this blog means some big time stuff has been on my mind. Tonight was Back to School night at Ellie's school. I was both anxious and excited. And anxious. I posted about it here. Taking Ellie to the school was a salve to my troubled soul. All day long she couldn't wait to go. She wasn't best pleased when I told her we had to wait until Daddy got home, but she waited as patiently as her little five year old self would let her.
It was pretty busy inside the school when we got there. Between the information tables for buses, lunches, carpools, and special ed there were all the students and parents milling around and greeting each other before heading off to meet the teachers. We went in right behind our next door neighbors and another family in the neighborhood.
Going into Ellie's classroom was both surprising and wonderful. The surprising part was that they have desks. There weren't desks in my kindergarten class but there must have been tables. I'm a bit hazy on that. The wonderful part was seeing Ellie's teacher. I feel so blessed and fortunate that Ellie's kindergarten teacher is a woman I know and love. I started to tear up as I saw her. She showed Ellie to her desk and pointed out the bathroom in the class. She let Ellie ask any questions she had before ushering her to the door leading to the playground. I wish I could remember what Ellie asked her. Anyway, Ellie happily ran outside to play on the toys, with Maya following closely on her heels. Mrs. Truman (it feels weird to call her that) then turned to me to chat just a bit. The other families from the neighborhood came in to say hi and see how she was doing with getting ready. She said she felt overwhelmed and I confirmed that that was totally natural. I'm so glad I know her personally so I felt comfortable being completely candid and not just another parent. When the other families left I told her Ellie was over the moon excited and that I was beyond pleased that she would be Ellie's teacher. Then Mrs. Truman asked if I was okay. I told her I wasn't and cried as we hugged. She commiserated with me and I felt much better. Then I allowed her to meet the other parents and children because I can't take up ALL her time. And also because I'm her visiting teacher, see her at church, have her number in my phone, or can just walk to the end of the block and across the street if I want to talk to her. I'm lucky that way.
On a related note, I realized that the reason I've had such a hard time with sending Ellie off to school boils down to being afraid that they won't love her like I do. Well, duh. I'm her mother; no one will love her like I do. As a teacher I had my fair share of students that I didn't love like I hope their mothers do. But if anyone can love and appreciate my amazing little girl, it's Mrs. Truman.
Eric and I let Ellie and Maya play outside for a bit while we stared at the classroom. As I looked out the door and into the hall I saw one of the other students I knew would be attending Ellie's school. They were in preschool together. Her mom recognized me and they came in to greet us. We all went outside to reunite the two little girls. Ellie came off the playset and they gave each other a big hug. It did my heart good. They continued to play, holding hands at every possible moment. I cried again. Ellie will be fine. They may be in different classes but, with the other girl in the all day class, there's a good chance they'll be able to meet up at recess. And hopefully they'll be in the same first grade class. Fingers crossed for that.
Now that I've been able to let go of my fears I think I'm as exited as Ellie is. Maybe. She spent the day asking about when she was going to school and giving me a massive hug and an, "I'm so excited!!!" every time I replied. She can barely contain herself and it's charming beyond words.
After we left the classroom I decided to stop by the school's surplus sale. So glad I did. Not long after I got there and started browsing through the books, the woman who was supervising and taking money (also in my ward and one of my running buddies) announced that, because of the lateness of the hour, all the books would be 25 cents each. I left with 12, nine of them Usborne books. The cost of just those Usborne books would have been upwards of $60 so I was pretty stoked. I had not brought along cash or check so I was really glad I knew the one taking the money. She whispered to me that, as an employee, she was able to get things on an IOU and she would just let me pay her. Score! Three dollars for at least $80 worth of books is pretty terrific.
So the night was a huge success for both Ellie and me. I think Eric liked being there, too. I know Maya will be super happy when her turn comes for school. And Ellie may just burst with excitement before Monday comes.