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Friday, March 21, 2014

Kindergarten. {Sigh}. It's really happening.

So it happened. 

This past week I crossed over into an unfamiliarly familiar world. 

The mailbox, the week prior, so kindly gifted me 18 forms (6 a piece) to fill out to make the kids school legal.  :) I sat at the kitchen table that same night and filled out each form with a silent diligence, periodically wondering if I was having a heart attack. ( I decide it's not a heart attack, just nostalgia pain straight to my heart.) It was a test. I just knew it. A test to determine whether my stamina as a kindergarten parent rivaled my stamina as a kindergarten teacher. 

About 13 forms in, I start to obsess about how I filled out each form. "Did I write out the other kids' full names on this form or just their middle initial? Hmm...I better go back and check." WHY? WHY SHOULD I GO BACK AND CHECK? It doesn't matter. It's not a college application. It doesn't matter. Stop being so ridiculous I scold myself. They're not going to reject kid #3 because you only used his middle initial and not his full middle name. {Sigh..} 

To continue this foolish obsession with 'order', I then gather their birth certificates and immunization records and clip them all BY KID (of course) and placed them neatly in the folder, IN BIRTH ORDER EVEN,  that I would carry to their Roundup the next week. NEXT WEEK. 

Never fear I checked that folder and ALL of its contents no less than 8 times that week to be sure I hadn't forgotten anything. You know, like an X in the box indicating that my child speaks English at home, or that I hadn't accidentally clipped Ethan's immunization record to Colton's forms. I mean, can you even imagine how I would've appeared?!@# What kind of first impression would I have made to the office staff at my kids' future home.  (Yes, laughing is appropriate here.) 

And then it came. Tuesday, March 12th.

We talked about it, rehearsed the procedures, and TOTALLY made it sound like THE coolest day EVER. Hunter was stoked. There's no other way to describe it. Girl is ready for kindergarten and wants to know everything about it. Ethan exclaimed, "I don't WANT to go to kindergarten!" (and my heart naturally sunk). But this was promptly followed with "I want to play with my Switch-Go Dino!" {Sigh of relief...crisis averted. It wasn't that he didn't want to go to kindergarten, he just didn't want to go right THEN, because of course, playing is WAY more fun!) 

But I could see real nerves building in Colton. He got quiet and was keeping to himself in the playroom. I of course, scooped him onto my lap and asked what was wrong. "Are you nervous, buddy?" I asked him. His response? "But, are you going to leave me there?" Immediately I knew that this stemmed from my informing them that they would get to see the classrooms and meet the teachers while Daddy and I listened to the grownups talk. He was nervous about being left there. That's a valid concern. And though I was immediately brought back to the gut-wrenching feeling I had on their very first day of preschool, I also remembered how happy they were when I picked them back up. I assured him that tonight was just for a little bit, but that he would get to leave with us. And it's these moments that I thank God he's a triplet.  I knew that when push came to shove, if his brother and sister went with the teachers, he'd go. 

We arrived, parked and headed in. Can I just say again, how STRANGE a feeling it was to be bringing my kids to the SAME school I attended about 28 years earlier? 

Man, some days, I still stare at them, in awe. We've finally arrived at an age where my kids have been alive for longer than I spent trying to have them. :)   :)   :) They drive me bat-sh#t crazy some days, but my goodness, I am blessed.

Really, Ethan? You think you rule this school?

Now, if first impressions are as important as they say they are, then Gale, YOU ROCKED! Honestly. Talk about warm greetings all around. Office staff, kindergarten teachers, first grade teachers, the Principal, you name it! This wonderful woman below is one of the kindergarten teachers. She and I graduated high school together. I wish I had snapped this photo from the other angle so you could see how captivated the boys were with 'Mrs. Schlak.' I mean, talk about welcoming little people with open arms. I am so beyond grateful that she is there. I have no doubt that their little nerves were put to rest the moment she hugged and greeted them all. Kindergarten Teachers are a different breed. They have different issues to contend with, and making new kids WANT to come to school is one of the toughest.

As if that weren't enough, the other 2 teachers are equally amazing. They, too, were loving and welcoming and I left feeling....good.  :) And let's not forget that I am a kindergarten teacher myself, so my standards might even be a touch higher because I know what to expect and what hurdles need to be overcome.

Anyhoo, the kids wrote their names on an apple...and with varying degrees of success, I might add.

Ethan just ran out of space...

Colton gave himself an extra 'o' and got out of order when he ran out of room.  :) 

And Hunter, well, she pretty much nailed it.  

And there you have it-my 3 Gale Tigers! 

Remember what I said earlier about the kids being captivated with Mrs. Schlak? Well this is the Principal and as you can plainly see, they were smitten with her as well. I just love adults who 'get' little kids. If you could have heard her talking to them, you'd have fallen in love just as I did. In this particular moment, she was explaining that they were going to get to go see the classrooms in a few minutes and that she wanted to know afterwards if they liked it. If they didn't, they were to come and tell her!  :)  Thank you, Ms. Ingle for making my littles feel so comfortable.  

I, of course, forced the husband to take a photo of me AND the littles, because after all, we are 
ALL Gale Tigers!  

Getting ready for the presentation to begin...

Meeting all the teachers... L to R Mrs. Schlak, Mrs. Peregrina and Mrs. Pessin.  :) 

And now, let the cat herding begin....Here Mrs. Peregrina is ushering the new kindergartners to come see the classrooms.  :) 

Be still my heart. 

In case you're wondering, they all went willingly.  :)

Brian and I sat back and listened to Ms. Ingle talk all about the school and about kindergarten. We heard from PTC representatives. One, who mentioned that they would be looking for a new PTC President.  (And as if he was reading my mind as I contemplated just HOW I could make that happen... I received a Swift elbow to my arm, followed by the words, "NO. YOU. CAN'T" with a smile. He knows me so well.) Okay, well maybe not PRESIDENT, but surely I could do SOMEthing...  :) 

When the presentation was over, we were able to go collect our littles and see the classrooms for ourselves. 

Now, I love my school and I love my district, but there's just something about schools with hallways lined with student work that makes me giddy. :)

Some shots of the classrooms.  Again, I LOVED everything about them.  :) 

Alas, if nothing else made it official, then I'd say these little TIGER MASKS did the trick! 

So there you have it. My babies are growing up. They are officially ready for kindergarten! We are all anxiously awaiting those next envelopes that come in our mailbox telling each of them who will be their teacher! As luck would have it, it's a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.  :) 


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