Most of this is an excerpt from the letter I emailed my brother Kevin (on a mission in Paraguay) Sunday night telling about all we've done to get Jackson ready for his first day of Kindergarten...
I've hung up all the new clothes, written his name on his backpack. There are new shoes waiting to be worn. Filled out the kindergarten info sheets.
We've toured the school, found Jackson's classroom. Seen where his desk, cubby, and the kindergarten playground are. We've found where his class lines up, where we drop him off, and where we pick him up. Rode up and down the elevator just for fun.
He's had a haircut and a blessing tonight. Had special first day of school ice cream trip. The camera battery is charging.
He can write his name. He knows the letters in the alphabet, and most of their sounds. He only wants to study Science.
He can spell a few words, and read a few more.
I still feel like I haven't done enough to get him ready.
I know I'm ridiculous, I know that he's less than a block away, and he'll be gone for only 3 hours. All I can say is wait until its your child. I never thought this would go so fast.
Jackson started to cry tonight. He tries to be a big kid, knows he's supposed to be tough, but he's very sensitive. He wrapped his arms around my neck, curled up in a ball in my lap, and told me that he was going to miss me the most out of anyone. He seems to sense this means that everything is changing. I think he knows it’s a good thing, but I also think he understands that things will be different from now on.
When tucking them into bed Carter started to cry.
(There's been lots of crying at our house this week).
He said "and then we drive away? I don't want to leave Jackson.
I don't want to drive away!"
The walk to his classroom was longer than I anticipated (and not just because of the crazy parking). He looks so small under that empty backpack.
The whole way over he squeezed my hand tight. Telling me he loved me every few minutes. I don’t know if this was to reassure me, or himself. I think it worked for both of us.
Of course Daddy was much more composed, and
fulfilled his most important requirements of the morning.
Posing with the Brand New Kindergartener for the much needed token Father/Son picture...
and holding mom after Jackson walked through the classroom door.
(But 1,000,000 points for mom since she didn't cry until after Jackson was out of sight.) Jackson hugged us, walked in without turning back, and it was done. All that worry and preparation done.
Jackson loves his friends. He's got a great group of friends from our ward. Jayce, Alexa, Taira, Austin, Logan, Indy, Norah, Lily, Ellie, (I'm sure I've missed at least one...) I love Jackson's friends. They are a group of great kids, and probably more comfort to mom than Jackson, goes into Kindergarten with at least a few really great friends.
The Verdict: I thought I’d hear rave reviews of recess and story time, (which there were) but Jackson surprised me when asked what his favorite part of Kindergarten was. His second most favorite was that his friends from our
ward, in other kindergarten classes were at his same recess.
His most favorite part was getting his purple. The behavior system is color coded. Every one starts green, and for bad behavior then goes yellow (warning) and finally red. But for being really good you can get a PURPLE. I've never heard a boy more excited for something Purple.
He talked about it all afternoon.
He’s got a wonderful teacher (Miss Fiscus), and he’s so excited to be in her class. She told me after school that the whole class did so well, the first day went great, and she thought Jackson was such a cute boy. Said he was sweet, helpful and kind to the other kids. Those few words and the smile on his face when he told me about his purple, made every worry worth it.
I know this will be great for him, but even so I'm still just a little bit heartbroken, and I love to see him run smiling to me when his day is done.
I missed him. (and so did Jackson's two little buddies)