Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life is about transitions.

Today Byron and I experienced yet another transition with Ty, his FIRST day of PRESCHOOL! I was terribly excited (and secretly have been for quite some time) for him and for this transitions. I tried to think of everything prior to today. We began several months ago with our first visit to the school to meet the teacher prior to our decision to send Ty. Our conversations with Ty have been constant as we drive by the school (only a few short blocks away). He knew the building. He asked questions and we answered them.  Then I decided to make it a special transition and he was able to pick out his back pack, matching lunch box and Kleen Kanteen, he chose the Batman edition from Pottery Barn.  We were trying to think of everything to make this transition a positive one.

We received the welcome packet from the school several weeks ago and again began planning.  Byron and I took ourselves to several stores to stock up on the school supplies from the list that was included in our packet. Boy what an eye opening experience that was for Byron.  Supplies are expensive! We ran into several teachers at a few of the stores that were clearly stocking up themselves with no doubt using their own money for the supplies that students could not afford and would most likely enter school without.   We chatted about that and decided that we were very fortunate to be able to pay for private tuition at this time as well as provide Ty with special things like new backpack etc. and be able to afford school supplies. We felt like parents. We were both somewhat nervous about this transition but knew that we would all make it through and Ty would surprise us for sure.

We took our newly purchased supplies home and hid them, (I remember being a kid and wanting to play with the new items immediately) and kept our discussion about our knew teacher Mrs. Shumacher alive on a daily basis.  Last Friday the 2nd of September we had our first appointment with our new  teacher. We arrived early, (as the Williams most always do) and waiting with anticipation outside of the room.  Finally we could not wait any longer Ty just had to see his classroom and teacher, (it helped there was a little girl named Emily in the classroom with her father too I am sure). We entered the classroom to search for his name located on the bullitin board, coat hanger in the coat closet  and found that there was a TYLER but no TY.  We immediately took care of that little error.  But all in all Ty found the kitchen area appealing, searched for toys, wouldn't let the teacher take his picture so he let out a scream.   The teacher was great saying, "just email a recent photo, we had to do that with another student too!" So we were at ease. 

Throughout the weekend the conversation about school continued, Ty spoke of Mrs. Shumacher a ton and we knew we would be okay! Monday night, the night before school Byron and I gave Ty a bath, let him choose  his PJ's and put him to bed.  The next morning bright and early Ty awoke and crawled into our bed asking questions like, "Do I go to school today?  Do I stay?" The answer was yes both times and he processed that for a little bit.  We woke up and made pancakes with powdered sugar (because I have no syrup in the house, I knew I had forgotten something at the store). He watched Little Einsteins on T.V. with Byron while I finished making lunches and making sure the backpack was filled with the things that Ty needed for preschool.  We all got dressed and ready to go. I wasn't going to push the camera this time around but was going to feel it out. Selfishly I wanted pictures (which I eventually got).  However, I also knew this transition was overwhelming already for Ty. I knew this because 15 minutes before we left he stated how much he wanted to stay at home and not go to school.  

We packed it up anyway and headed out of the front door and around the corner of our home.  We were headed a few blocks away by foot to the school. We noticed there were lots of kiddos going by foot, car etc and that made Ty feel better. "Hey mom look at that boy he going to school too!" You are right little one you are right.  We made our way near the school and Ty was scoping things out.  We were a few minutes early but not to worry so were others. We waited until the Principal Mr. Schindler opened the doors and welcomed families into the school. Ty remembered things from Friday's visit and we talked about them all the way down the hall to his classroom. We were met there by his teacher and of course were the first ones.  

Ty and I looked for his name and it was changed on the wall, the coat hanger and his folders.  We hung his backpack up in the closet and put his lunch box above it on the shelf. Byron showed Ty the play doh area, the water table, the water colors and the toys that were set out. Other students started to arrive. Pictures were taken (not by me yet) but by other parents of their students. I explained to Ty that mommies and daddies have to leave and kids stay with their teacher and they are safe.  I explained that we would come pick him up when school was over and that I was proud of him.  He wanted to go home and gave me a huge hug at which point I hugged him back and handed him over to his teacher.  Not a peep, not a cry, just a small pouty face which made Byron and I well up with tears but none the less bee lined it for the door.  Goodbye we stated and off we went.  

Down the long hall, to the office where we dropped off our forms for the years volunteers lists, the pick up and drop off lists and more.  I just can't wait for Sally Foster wrapping paper, the Green sale etc.  Showing a ton of enthusiasm laughing inside. I am a parent of a private school kiddo. Right before our very eyes Ty was growing up into a young little boy. Not so much a toddler any more but a young little boy that was beginning his journey in education. It was a positive day.

I will say that during the day Byron and I kept busy with errands, a doctors appointment with Caleb and getting the house tidied. I liked that. We nervously checked our emails and phones for any sign of trouble down at the school and avoided driving by the school for fear of disrupting something by chance.  We were excited and curious about what his day was like. If he was enjoying it.  We knew he would but were not sure.  No phone calls, no emails and no communication from the school all was well. A few minutes before 2:50pm we arrived at the school and waited outside for the Preschool and KG classes to come out of the door. The principal and I chatted (we have a few people we know in common through my work), we chatted with friends that Byron grew up with who also have kiddos attending this school, we felt like parents.

First the KG classroom came out and met up with their families. Then Ty's classroom came. I whipped out the camera to snap a photo of him with his backpack on as quickly and quietly as I could. He looked timid but he saw me and a smile crept over his face. He came to give Byron and I huge hugs and kisses.  The teacher said he had a great day, he was talkative with her and others and enjoyed himself. That was all we could ask for. Whew a relief.  On to the walk home. Ty explained his day in detail and when we arrived home and sat on the couch to continue our talk he stated with his hand folded behind his head and his feet crossed, "Mom it was a long day and I am tired!" "How was your day at work?" We stated that we were proud of him and that we missed him and were excited about tomorrow's school day.  He then told us about his homework which was reading a Clifford book that his teacher gave to everyone.  He even reminded me this morning that he did his homework.

All in all a great day and feeling to be a parent.  We have a wonderful son who is growing up quickly but we are cherishing all the little moments that he has to offer us.  We love him so much.  Love you Ty!